The Relationship Builder

(07/11/2012)

“Establish relationships and bring value to the relationship” is a personal mission statement I came up with in the 1990s. Fresh out of college and working as an Outside Sales Representative in the wire and cable distribution industry, I was looking to separate myself from others in my field. From my observations, my competitors (and some colleagues) were pretty good at establishing relationships with clients, just not too solid on adding value. My thought was to develop rapport and have some knowledge on products/services that would help my client to grow their business.

Anyone can ask, “How are the wife and kids”. I wanted to bring something to the party, ask questions to make clients think about their business and how they could grow their business. Once I had their interest level raised, I needed to be prepared with knowledge on new, innovative products/services to help their business.

Being in my twenties at the time, I felt I was part of the “new wave” of salespersons who needed to be experts in their field to be successful. I quickly learned relationship building and bringing value to the relationship could help me with colleagues, friends and my family. Plus, it definitely made me feel good knowing I was providing a value, making a difference and bringing something to the party. I spent over twelve years in the wire and cable industry rising from a Sales Representative to a Branch Manager, General Manager, and Regional Vice President overseeing a $60 million territory. It was a rewarding time of my life and where I developed my relationship building skills.

To this day, I strive to bring value to any relationship I have – family, friends, and in my business. How do you bring value to your loved ones, your colleagues and your clients? Are you bringing something to the party?