Relationships. Your benchmark to a meaningful career
Several principles are essential to turn acquaintances into loyal customers
By Scott Addis
Your ability to build deep, long-lasting relationships is the key ingredient to
success in your business. Relationships just don’t happen. They evolve over time. Successful business people understand that
relationship building is more like “farming” than “hunting.” Quality relationships are rarely pursued and captured. Rather, relationships
are rooted in rich soil consisting of a blend of mutual trust, respect and
shared values. When fully grown, relationships produce bonds and connections
that enhance the opportunity for both parties to succeed.
Research indicates that 88% of executives view the strength of client
relationships as the primary reason revenue goals are achieved. Mutual trust
and respect are at the heart of these relationships.
Mutual trust is the shared belief that one can depend upon another person. Trust
grows out of confidence in another person’s honesty, integrity and desire to serve. Respect is the outgrowth of trust.
A few months ago, I met with Chris Malone and Ed Wallace, managing partners of
The Relational Capital Group (www.relcapgroup.com). Chris is one of the
foremost branding experts in the United States. Ed is the celebrated author of
the award-winning book Business Relationships That Last. Chris and Ed enable their clients to achieve goals through a unique five-step
business relationship process. As a result of The Relational Capital Group’s system, acquaintances are turned into professional peers and, ultimately,
In Business Relationships That Last, we learn about the Principle of Worthy Intent, Relational Capital, Relational
GPS® and the Relational Ladder®.
Principle of Worthy Intent
The Principle of Worthy Intent is the inherent promise you make to keep the
other person’s best interests at the core of your business relationships. This speaks to your
Your ability to create relational capital with clients, prospects and centers of
influence is the most meaningful way for you to distinguish yourself. There are
three essential qualities at work in the creation of Relational Capital—credibility, integrity, and authenticity. These qualities represent the
foundation upon which you are able to build relationship capital in today’s business world.
Credibility is the quality that makes others believe in you, your words and actions.
Credibility is the outgrowth of your professional competence. Integrity is being trustworthy in actions and character. It is the quality of having
honest and truthful motivations. Authenticity is the quality of being genuine. It is about being who you are.
With worthy intent as your guiding principle, credibility, integrity and
authenticity are easily recognized and valued by clients, prospects and centers
Getting where you want to go in business—your roadmap in developing outstanding business relationships—is contingent upon understanding the Relational GPS of your clients, prospects
and centers of influence. GPS stands for:
Goals: Short- and long-term personal and professional objectives
Passions: Personal and professional causes that your client, prospect or center
of influence cares so deeply about
Struggles: Obstacles holding them back from their goals and passions
People will not share their goals, passions and struggles with you until they
feel confident about and comfortable with the relationship. Once your client,
prospect or center of influence allows you to navigate his or her GPS, you have
the road map to a long-term relationship leading to Trusted Advisor status.
Having relational GPS also facilitates your ability to move through the sales
cycles meaningfully and successfully.
Your business relationships are parked in neutral if you have little or no
understanding of another’s goals, passions and struggles.
Your ability to view each business relationship in the context of a ladder will
enable you to climb to new heights of customer intimacy and engagement. The
frame of the Relational Ladder represents your technical knowledge as well as
your ability to communicate your value proposition. Each rung of the ladder
moves you closer to the goal of a mutually profitable relationship. Your
ability to climb the Relational Ladder requires relational capital braced by
Benchmarking customer relationships
In Business Relationships That Last, we learn that only 24% of corporations formally track the relational aspects of
their client and prospect interactions within their customer relationship
management system. In addition, 70% of business professionals overestimate the
quality and strength of their relationships.
The research of Addis Intellectual Capital (AIC) supports the findings of The
Relational Capital Group. AIC’s Beyond Insurance® Survey results (more than 4,000 respondents) uncover that 80% of agents and
brokers do not have a process in place to benchmark customer intimacy,
appreciation and loyalty.
In the table below are AIC’s Survey results:
When customer relationships are not benchmarked, you don’t know how a customer is feeling about your value proposition. Identifying and
benchmarking core relationships is an essential strategy toward your goal of
building deep, long lasting relationships.
Scott Addis is the president/CEO of The Addis Group and Addis Intellectual
Capital, LLC (AIC), a coaching and consulting company whose purpose is to
transform the process that insurance agents, brokers, and carriers use when
working with their clients. Scott is recognized as an industry leader, having
been named Inc. magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” as well as one of the “25 Most Innovative Agents in America” by The National Alliance. To learn more about the Beyond Insurance offerings go
to www.beyondinsurance.com or contact Ashley Correll (Director of Beyond
Insurance Programs) at email@example.com or (610) 945-1021.
©2010. Relational GPS® and Relational Ladder® are registered trademarks of The Relational Capital Group.