My very first book was called The Relationship Edge. I learned years ago that I could get an edge in business IF customers and prospects valued a relationship with me. That edge would ultimately turn out to be a catalyst for my success in sales and in management. People do buy from, follow and listen to people who they believe in. In the business world, that does not necessarily mean they want to be your best friend. What it means is if we build the business relationship correctly, the customer or prospect will want to do business with us. The relationship edge is really a function of 3 very specific skills that most people don’t completely appreciate. Moreover, not many practice these 3 skills with the discipline to be great at it. Seventy percent (70%) of all jobs we will get in our lifetime will come from someone in our own network or someone who is known by someone in our network. This fact alone makes our approach to relationships critical, if nothing else does. These 3 skills are not taught in many schools. In fact, I only know of one college that emphasizes these skills and the students who are exposed to these ideas and learn these skills get great jobs before they even graduate.
The 3 skills are:
- Learning to build relationships with the people we do not naturally connect with. That can be up to 70% of everyone we meet and many of those in that group are potentially important to our success.
- Learning how to maintain relationships that really matter with persistent, intentional and relevant contact.
- Learning how to leverage the good business relationships we have for MUTUAL benefit.
Can relationships give us an edge in business? They certainly can! But only if the relationship is built for the right reason. It needs to be driven by an understanding and a strongly held belief that relationships aren’t just important—they are everything!
Bonus: Do you want to learn more about the Relationship Edge®? CLICK HERE to gain access to an exclusive video where renowned sales expert Jerry Acuff provides additional insights.