Posts Tagged relationships

Is Reaching Success More About WHAT You Know or WHO You Know?

From the title itself, you can tell reaching success has to be one way or the other linked to the verb “to know” whether it means acquiring and having the knowledge or being connected to a person of influence. When I decided launching my company at Act2be.com in helping people and organizations find the Expert they need in sales, management, leadership, fitness and relationships in the US,  in France, and in Africa, one of the first actions I did take was to check what I knew about the targeted market, about the industry, and about the competition. At my very first business approach, the discussion was 90% about who do you know that I need to know and 20% about what is that I want to offer.

Last week-end I had a business meeting at my house with a person of influence in one of the main beverage company in Cameroon (Africa) and I introduced my business and we talked about how to serve that company business interests. Again, the discussion turned around who will give credit to  my service.

When I was Organizational Leader few years ago at the Southwestern Company, the main focus when prospecting, approaching, and signing up people was in getting names. With names it was lot easier to get other names, to sign up more deals, and to make more money.

Yesterday, I was having a phone conversation with a long-time friend of mine that I haven’t heard from since college. He works as account executive for a bank in Paris (France) today and when I asked him how he made it there he said at the job interview there were five other applicants with pretty much the same background but none of the others had an inside connection.

All those to say that, I believe education and knowledge is accessible to all. Whatever you do, whatever business you come up with today, someone else can reproduce it beat you on your market. But what can keep you on a safe seat and take you to success at whatever you can do or don’t know what to do but can learn how to do, is the level of influence people you know and the strength of the relationships you built with those people.

Is knowledge power? I personally don’t think so. I think relationship is power. What do you think?

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Team Building and Relationships: How Are They Related?

More and more, companies understand that the most important people of their business is not just their customers or clients but their own employees. If in the past, it was true to say “Customer is King”, today we say “Great people develop great companies.” Matter of fact, it cost more money to a company to replace an employee than it cost to look for another client. Yet we should acknowledge, it takes more than a good paycheck to attract, build, and more important to keep a great team of accountable and reliable people. Could personal professional relationship be a solution?

I’ve been involved in sales, team building and management for more than 7 seven years now, attended dozens of seminars about team building, and professional development relationships, and read lot of different books from various author like John C. Maxwell, Tom Hopkins, Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard…  All my professional experiences, readings and research make me to believe that personal professional relationships with every single key player of your team is at the heart of any team building and team work success.

How can personal professional relationships help you build a team?

When building up a team as a sales manager, business owner, or recruiter, you are selling ideas, your company’s ideas, your

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company’s vision and your goal is to have nothing but the best people in your team. Yet, what I found out or let’s say noticed, thanks to my experiences  is that only good people will help you to find good people to add in the team. So basically, the question is more about how relationships come into play to help find the good people. The best recruitment I’ve ever when working with the Southwestern Company between France and the US were the non-formal ones: the recommendations. The truth about recommendation is that no matter what it is for, you will not get a great recommendation from someone who dislike you or what you are representing. When you manage to have a great relationships with people of your network and they consider you as legit in what you do, they will be more than welcome to help you find the right people you need in your team. Matter of fact, most of the time you won’t even have to ask them, they will propose you their help and because of that mutual respect, they will let you access their address book. Referral services work the same way. Remember I said only good people will bring in good people? Well the same way only big buyers will refer big buyers. So whether is for team building or getting great profitable referrals, the key strategy and habit to cultivate is to manage and to qualify anyone of your contact list and have a professional and personal relationship with each of them.

One question that might come to your mind right now can be: so what if I have no relevant contact to start with, how do I build my team then. Well, if that’s is your question, I’d say you might want to go ahead and do what we call at the Southwestern Consulting: the everywhere you go approach. This technique basically states that you should introduce yourself and what you do to everyone you meet and talk to and see if they’d like to hear more about it. That technique is such a powerful tool of team building and relationship establishment in the sense that where you meet with the person can be anywhere (restaurant, in the bus or subway, at church, at a party) and makes then the place neutral which facilitates the conversation. Also, because the place is neutral and the conversation wasn’t anything schedule, there is no pressure when you introduce the subject, and at the end even if the person doesn’t jump in the boat, if you’ve established a great connection with the person, then he/she can be your doorway to have more numbers to call as referrals. Check out in the archive for some of my previous articles for tips and techniques on how to approach a person you don’t know yet, how to make the persona feel comfortable talking and more.

How can personal professional relationships help you push the team to perform?

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Now, it’s not enough to build the best team, you have to work with the team, help the team to be successful, and help the team to grow. How you do that is by having a personal professional relationship with each one of your team if it’s a small team otherwise each one of the team key players.

What do I mean by personal professional relationship? By personal professional relationships, I mean showing genuine interest to the life of your team players. Today, we know money does not motivate enough, what motivates is the support, the help, the feeling of “I am here with you” that the team leader shares with each one of the team. There is a little trick here: you don’t want to be or even to sound fake when you talk to people because sooner or later, it will start to show up. Showing genuine interest to your people shouldn’t be a homework but a sign that you do really care.

How do you build personal professional relationships with people?

  • Start by putting in your close network or team only the people you trust and that can strongly believe you can easily work with.
  • Tell people right at the beginning what is it like to work with you or to be part of your team. Tell them what they should expect and not expect from you.
  • Ask them in return, still right at the beginning, how is that they’d like to be treated. This works whether is a social relationship or a business relationship and the good thing behind it is that it avoids the pain bad assumption could have put on the table.
  • Do personal conferences. I set up my first personal conference with a team player when I was Organizational Leader at the Southwestern Company. One of the good point behind this one-on-one conference is that it’s not made to criticize or to blame but to help the two people talk freely about how they can help each other for better result. Even more, they can talk about real emotional and meaningful goals that will unlock their true potential. It’s at those personal conferences that you discover your teammate need to make money because his relative is fighting cancer and he/she needs to provide with the medicine, or you find out that he/she is going through a divorce and that’s why he/she had an attitude issue the whole week. Because these kind of sharing create strong relationships based on trust, I definitely recommend any manager, leader, or recruiter to have at least one personal conference per month with each key player.
  • Listen, remember, appreciate, and be available. You probably know they saying: “people don’t care how much you know until

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    they know how much you care.” Well, caring is listening; caring is to remember; caring is to appreciate; to care is to be available. If you understand that your team players represent your most important investment then you know you should care about them the same way you’d care about your biggest client: know what’s going on in their family, know their birthday, know their life goals and help them to achieve them, motivate and inspire them to greatness.

When I first entered the Coaching industry, I was essentially in the sales training but then I understood not only how relationships matter but also I started to notice mistakes people from all industries do everyday and hurt their career and life goals. That’s why I entered that niche market as a Relationship Strategist: to help people reach their goals by bettering their understanding of human relationships.

In this particular issue of team building and relationships my goal was simply to light you up on some proven tips and techniques and I read about, that I learned and experienced through my previous professional experiences, and that I apply everyday to make my business grow. I guarantee you, if you apply them, not only will you build a great team of accountable and reliable people, but also you will have a team of people who will stand for you and will do the impossible for you and the ideas you stand for.

Hit me up if you need additional advice and till then, remember: it takes leadership to master relationships.

****** For Books, eBooks, and DVDs of ONLY self-improvement authors, visit us at Cheap’Shop: the Act2be.com online store for ONLY self-improvement materials*****

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How To Handle Angry Clients

If you are in Sales or work in the Customer Service department, or if you are an assistant, then you will know it doesn’t take much to engage in a very negative conversation with a customer no matter how strong your relationship to the customer might be.  In a recent discussion with a friend of mine, we came up with the question of how to handle the type of clients of most likely feel like giving the F-word. After exchanging couple of ideas with that friend of mine, I went to my resources and found this great and wonderful work from Tom Hopkins that best lights up on the issue. Well, it can be a client, but it can also be a friend, or even a relative, no matter your relationship to the person might be and no matter what you do, the following post written by Tom Hopkins will definitely be of a great help when it comes to how to handle angry people. To learn more about Tom Hopkins, visit his pages on Act2be.com: Tom Hopkins Expert Page | Tom Hopkins Quotes | Ton Hopkins Videos

Too many salespeople, when faced with clients who range from dissatisfied to down right angry, choose the loser’s path by postponing handling the situation. This results in one of two things happening. Either the angry client decides the problem isn’t worth the aggravation and cools down (what every salesperson wishes would happen, but like many wishes, just thinking it won’t make it so). Or the client gets so angry that the next time you hear from him or her is through the higher-ups in your company who have absorbed some of the client’s anger and are happy to give it to you.

Because I understood that building relationships is what selling is all about, I began early in my career to send thank you notes topeople. I set a goal to send ten thank you notes every day. That goal meant that I had to meet and get the names of at least ten people every day. I sent thank you notes to people I met briefly, people I showed properties to, people I talked with on the telephone, and people I actually helped to own new homes. I became a thank you note fool. And guess what happened? By the end of my third year in sales, my business was 100% referrals! The people I had expressed gratitude to were happy to send me new clients as a reward for making them feel appreciated and important. If you are a small businessperson or sole proprietor, you may learn more about your client’s anger through legal channels. Naturally, no one wants to walk into a lion’s den and face the angry client. However, you must consider the value of this client to you, your reputation, and the company. In most cases, I would guess that it will be worth your while to face that angry customer and get the situation resolved as quickly as possible. I’d like to give you nine steps I’ve developed for facing and dispelling another person’s anger.

1. Acknowledge the other person’s anger quickly. Nothing adds more fuel to a fire than having his or her anger ignored or belittled. The faster you verbally recognize their anger, the better.

2. Make it plain that you’re concerned. Tell them you realize just how angry they are. Let them know that you are taking the situation seriously. Make notes of every possible detail they give you.

3. Don’t hurry them. Be patient. Let them get it all out. Never try to interrupt or shut them up. In many cases, the best move is to simply listen. They’ll wind themselves down eventually. In some cases, they’ll realize they blew the situation out of proportion and feel foolish for it. They are then likely to accept nearly any solution you offer.

4. Keep calm. Most angry people say things they don’t really mean. Learn to let those things pass and take them up after you’ve solved the present challenge – only if you feel it’s necessary to do so.

5. Ask questions. Your aim is to discover the specific things that you can do to correct the problem. Try to get specific information about the difficulties the problem has caused, rather than a general venting of hot air.

6. Get them talking about solutions. This is where you will learn just how reasonable this client is. By the time you get to this step, their anger should have cooled enough to discuss the challenge rationally. If it hasn’t tell them you want to schedule a later meeting, even if it’s in an hour, to come up with some reasonable solutions. Let them do the rest of their fuming on their time.

7. Agree on a solution. After you know exactly what the challenge is, you’re in a position to look for some kind of action that will relieve the challenge. Propose something specific. Start with whatever will bring them the best and quickest relief. Don’t get into a controversy over pennies at this time.

8. Agree on a schedule. Once you’ve agreed on a solution, set up a schedule for its accomplishment. Agree to a realistic time frame that you know you can handle. The biggest mistake you can make is to agree to something that cannot be done. If you do, you’d better be ready to face another bout of this person’s anger when you don’t come through.

9. Meet your schedule. Give this schedule top priority. You’ve talked yourself into a second chance with this client, so make sure you don’t blow it.

Tom Hopkins is world-renowned as America’s #1 sales trainer. For over 30 years, he has helped millions of sales professionals around the world serve more people through proven-effective selling skills. His books have sold in the millions, and hundreds of thousands of people benefit from his recorded audio and video programs every day. For more information, contact Tom Hopkins International by calling (800) 528-0446 or visit his website at http://www.tomhopkins.com

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