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RELATIONSHIP MATTERS

Sunday Sip

All lasting business is built on friendship.

~Alfred A. Montapert

 

Sunday Tip  |  “Relationship Relations” – The Missing Line Item
Its business and we all do it. Line item after line item we place the budgeted and overall cost of each “item” we spend money on and each “item” we make money on. We record our sales, itemize our expenses, and evaluate our current livelihood on the bottom-line. Its fair, it makes sense and we can justify and measure just about every listed item.

With competition and the cost of doing business on the rise, disposable income and margins are harder to come by. When the going gets tough, the tough gets cut. Its typical, understandable {at least we make it sound so} and we keep on keep’n on. One integral component of success and growth that is not measured, evaluated or justified, though, is an integral part of an business – relationships. And more often than not, its not a line item on budgets.

Business may be business, but in truth, business is people. People are relationships. And relationships, no matter what business you are in, are what makes the world go round. It is the people that we develop relationships with that will help us stay in business – and we help them stay in business. Relationships are what build brands. Brands that are lasting have developed strong relationships with vendors, customers, neighbors, communities, governments, and people.

You may be an electrician, a restaurateur, musician, artist, teacher, engineer, barista. Industry specifics aside, we are all really in the Relationship business. If you measure and fiscally account for marketing, advertising, public relations – you’re on the right track. But measuring relationships – the missing line item – is a bit more than just the traditional and new media methods that are already accounted for.

You may already be doing a few of these things, which is great, but are you making sure that they are building a lasting relationship and developing your brand? Are you measuring their impact and results? Are you managing them like you do your other line items? Put it on the line. “Relationship Relations” will speak for itself.

A Few “Relationship Relations” Items We Like To Account For ~

Write Handwritten Thank You Notes 

Send to guests, vendors, neighbors – anyone you come in contact with. People take notice, and will remember your signature {and handwriting} forever.
Go On Lunch or Coffee Dates 

Extend the invitation with prospects, current customers, vendors and competitors. Keeping the lines of communication – face to face – is always a plus.
Show Your Community Support

Show your appreciation of a loyal customer, vendor, neighbor or friend’s passion by giving to a community organization or charity event. Attendees and benefactors will remember you for your kindness and support.
Send “Love Notes” 

Pretend your sticking it in your crush’s locker in between classes, like we all did back in the school days. Just to say hi, stay in touch, and share the “love”. With notes, emails or phone calls, say hello and remind those you love that you are still around and their relationship matters.
Share Secrets 

Maybe not your brand secrets, but the inside scoop or tips you’ve learned the hard way that might make it easier for others to do business or enjoy life. It shows you care, and that matters. People like other people who make them feel special.
Lend a Helping Hand 

We all need a little help sometimes, and one day we will need it in return. Do what you can, without expectation of payback or return. You will be repaid more than you ever imagined.
Extra Tip:

No-one expects you to manage all this in your Rolodex. Hopefully you’ve outgrown it by now. We like using a CRM {like Salesforce} to manage relationships. Helps keep you from “double-dating” too.

SUNDAY SIP: TEACH ME

Sunday Sip:

Experience teaches only the teachable. 

~Aldous Huxley

Sunday Tip:

TEACH ME

Being teachable is not so much about being able to be “taught” as much as it is about attitude. It’s having the thirst and hunger to learn and grow. It’s being willing to learn from mistakes and failures and be a better person for them.

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden states it: “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

Being teachable is recognizing and admitting that there is greater knowledge and experience to be acquired and had. It is being humbled in not knowing everything and not always being right.

As the business landscape changes and evolves, faster than many of us can get our hands on, its is important that we open our hearts and minds to being teachable. Adopting a “Teach Me” attitude will better serve us in the long run, personally and professionally.

The challenging part of being teachable is finding teachable moments and opportunities. Not all of us is fortunate to work in a learning environment or with managers and staff that makes learning possible. But that should not stop us.

Learning is often more about what we take away from our environment, from others and from ourselves. It involves reflection, taking initiative, going above and beyond, often to create a new challenge or challenge ourselves.

A few ideas on how to keep learning and develop a “Teach Me” attitude:

Read. 

A lot. A book, magazine or anything you can get your hands on. My preference – Google Reader. Makes it easy to follow your favorites. Buy an iPad. Makes all that reading you’re going to do easy anytime time permits.

Find a mentor. 

Someone in your industry or area of interest and develop a relationship with them. Get to know more about their experience, lessons in life, and ideas.

Be a Mentor.

Bring along the next generation by taking a young adult or student under your wing. Show them the ropes of the business you are in, help them set goals and achieve success. Put your knowledge and experience to good use.

Volunteer. 

It softens the heart, makes us feel purposeful and helps us learn more than we imagined we would about others – and ourselves. Give back and you will receive.

SUNDAY SIP: SUCCESS-FUL & FULL OF SUCCESS

Sunday Sip:
I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.
Estee Lauder

Sunday Tip  |  Success-FUL and FULL of Success

THINK BIGSuccess is achieved when our desire for results creates a willingness to learn from our failures. It also means be able to look at failures as learning opportunities.

Here’s how we like to think about it ~

  • To succeed you have to try.
  • To try you have to have desire.
  • To have desire you have to be willing to take risks.
  • To take risks you have to be willing to fail.
  • To be willing to fail you have to know you will learn.

Dream big. Have burning desires. You’re not crazy. You’re driven and you will succeed because of it. Learn from your failures, mistakes and those of others. Be Success-FUL. You are FULL of Success.