I’m passionate about seeing others enhance their relationships-development abilities, skills, and behaviors. Last week, I spent a couple of hours with a mentee to review some of his challenges and opportunities. Here are five lessons that I think would be good reminders for all of us:

1. Lost a Major Business Relationship Opportunity – We get enticed by the recognizable logo of the company, the size of the potential deal, the positive visibility of a project of this magnitude, and we forget that relationships are between individuals! Unless you begin every journey by asking, “is this the right relationship for me?” how will you know whether you’ve invested wisely or not? Looking at any situation by just the transaction alone is myopic. Focus on building trusting relationships first, last, and every opportunity in between!

2. Stop Trying to Pushing a Rope! If you’ve ever tried it, you know that it doesn’t work very well. Market gravity or pull is a lot easier to respond to than a constant push. Instead of constantly making outbound calls, become an object of interest, write compelling content, create a unique perspective, speak on a topic with expertise and conviction and those who matter will seek you out.

3. Seven Touches to Create Awareness and Call to Action – That’s right! Seven! Don’t tell me you called someone once or sent them an email and are now WAITING for them to get back to you! As an old manager of mine drove into me some two decades ago, WAIT = We Are In Trouble if we’re waiting on someone else to take care of anything that’s important to us! In our information overload world, voice mails, emails, notes, messages, etc. all get lost. Create a drip / nurture campaign targeted at relationships that are most important to you and add value in every interaction! If you want to be remembered and repeated, you have to elevate yourself above the market noise!

4. That Dog Don’t Hunt! That’s an old southern term for, there is more to that story! If something doesn’t pass the smell test, you have to have the fortitude to ask! If someone is reluctant to do something they know is beneficial for the organization, you have to get to the bottom of it. Doctors can’t help us until we share how we’re feeling, what hurts, how the accident happened, why we don’t exercise, etc. Advisers, consultants, project managers, and business relationships in general all work the same way. I can’t help you until I understand what’s really going on and why!

5. Don’t Confuse Vibration with Forward Motion. This is probably one of my favorite sayings and it simply means: don’t confuse the busy work in relationships with real impact. Busy work includes notes, coffee, phone calls, emails, methodology, training, meetings, conference calls, planning sessions, etc., etc., etc. You know what they all are? Input! They don’t matter nearly as much as outcome! How is that relationship better off because of you? I didn’t ask about how smart you art or all of your talents or mad skills! If you can’t answer that simple question, you should ask yourself why you’re in that relationship to begin with!

Remember, you’re never too old or young to be a mentor, or find one! Make it a point in 2013 to surround yourself with 3 people who have a vested interest in your personal and professional growth!

Make it a great week, David.

p.s. Fantastic Webinar with LeadLife THIS Wednesday, February 20 at 1 PM ET on 5 Keys to Creating Customer Advocates: How Lead Nurturing Sets the Stage. Learn more and register to join us HERE.


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