What an amazing year! And like the one before, it seems to get faster and faster as we get older. One of the greatest benefits of aging is gaining wisdom through life experiences – both your own and others. As we reflect on 2014 and look through our experiences, I encourage you to think of who enriched your life this year. If your schedule is like mine, holiday parties, family activities, gift buying, wrapping up year end, etc all seem to take every spare moment until there is not a single moment to just be. I encourage you to really take a few moments, carve them out, and look back on who really added to 2014.
I was reading a great article this weekend in the Huffington Post that talked about the 5 lists to make in reviewing your year. After reviewing their list (and enjoying the post tremendously) I thought I would share with you my own top 5 lists to make. And in the spirit of our tagline – SalezWORKS where relationships meet opportunity, I will talk with you about the top 5 lists of relationships to develop, nurture and grow in 2015.
1. Let’s start with your top new relationships in 2014 – this one is a pretty obvious place to begin. Take a look back at the people who have led you to great new clients, introduced you to new productive referral partnerships, enriched your knowledge base or has just proven to be a fabulous person to know. All of these are critical components belong in your center of influence. If you wish your client base to grow and the average account size to increase in profitability, you must continue to develop new relationships.
2. Next, let’s look at great new contacts to nurture and develop from 2014 – Look back at your calendar and if you are like most of us you will spot a few of those great people that you just didn’t have time to follow back up with to further develop a relationship. You know, you got busy, it’s OK, but go schedule a coffee for crying out loud! Let me know how it goes.
3. Let’s not forget your top existing relationships to continue nurturing – if you look back at most of your best relationships, clients and referral partners, they have probably been around for quite a long time. My best opportunities from this year were introduced by one of my long standing referral partners – who’s also been a great friend for over 10 years. What’s sad is that there are many others that I know I haven’t supported as well as I should. My first action this week is to schedule meetings with these people to happen over the next month. I encourage you to join me!
4. Relationships YOU let slip that need to be developed – life happens to all of us and we often slip on the follow up with great opportunities due to lack of time or distractions at the moment we meet. The good news is, it’s it probably not a lost opportunity! I have yet to be turned down when I reach out to someone I met 6 months ago and request a meeting over a cup of coffee to catch up on what they’re doing and how I can help them through my connections or otherwise. Side note, this is where I find most of my clients and contacts suffering a bit from the Curse of the Smart People. Don’t talk yourself out of reaching back out, or beat yourself up over not following up, timing wasn’t right, it might be now! Schedule the meeting!
5. Gaps you have identified in your partner network – this is an area we often neglect, and then wonder why we lose an account to a competitor with a wider product/service offering. One of the best questions to ask of your clients is this- what did you wish we could do for you? Their response will lead you to gaps in your service offering that should be filled with a new fabulous relationship. Another method to determine gaps is look at the last couple deals you didn’t get, and find out why not. If the answer is you are missing an aspect to your solution – go find a resource partner! And you just might gain a great source of business!
Hopefully this will keep you highly productive for the next month, and you will enjoy significant benefits from beginning the year with great relationships leading to success in 2015! Like what you hear? Register for our free weekly newsletter the Salez Snippet to gain more great insight in leveraging relationships to reach great new opportunities!
Have a great day and we wish you…. Good Selling!