Return to Table of Contents

Beyond Insurance

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 ( 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, trusted advisors.

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 character.

Relational Capital

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 of influence.

Relational GPS

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.

The Relational Ladder

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 worthy intent.

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.

The author

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 or contact Ashley Correll (Director of Beyond Insurance Programs) at or (610) 945-1021.

©2010. Relational GPS® and Relational Ladder® are registered trademarks of The Relational Capital Group.


88% of executives view the strength of client relationships as the primary reason revenue goals are achieved, yet less than 25% of corporations formally track the relational aspects of their client and prospect interactions.





Return to Table of Contents