No matter what line of work you’re in, business is always about relationships.
For almost two decades, my career was real estate. In that world, the first couple of years are a meager business. Why? Because your only leads will come from friends and family. That’s the extent of people who will trust you to help them buy or sell a home.
Those who succeed grow their business by meeting new people and cultivating new relationships. This can be done a number of ways: networking, open houses, neighborhood gatherings, or any other social events. This turns into more introductions, more referrals, and more potential business.
Those who fail? Simple. Too few people know and trust them.
I’ve read that the average person knows about 300 people. At least that is the number of friends on Facebook. The millionaire knows 4 times that. A total of 1200 people that they connect with on a semi-regular basis.
When you think about it, that is a lot of people to know. And it’s a ton of people with whom to maintain an ongoing relationship. Which is important because “out of mind” means “out of business.”
In other words, millionaires not only know more people, but they stay on top of those relationships.
I rely on what I call millionaire tools. In the old days, the successful businessman’s tool was one hell of a rolodex. Today, we can rely on more powerful tools, like a CRM (Customer Relationship Management). CRMs aren’t new. The problem is that too few know how to really use a CRM to turn relationships into business. My CRM serves me like a knife serves a sushi chef. You’ll never see me without it.
I interviewed Tony Cappaert, the Cofounder and COO of my favorite CRM tool, Contactually. We talk about how to use a CRM effectively to turn your relationships into money. Because any millionaire understands that their net worth is directly attached to the network of people who know, remember, and trust them.
Here are the top takeaways that I took from my conversation with this technology leader whose mission is to help entrepreneurs and salespeople close more business.
You Need a Millionaire Tool
Tony asserts that you must implement some sort of systematic process to generate more business from your network. This is a simple truth, but many of us have lost sight of this – or somehow feel that we don’t need a system. Back in the day, people kept their relationships straight on their rolodex. Those seem silly now, but it was a system that worked for the time.
These days, we have so many more tools at our disposal, yet we feel like merely having everyone’s contact info in our phones or email accounts is enough. Sure, that helps if we need to look up a number, but it will not keep us on top of who to follow up with! Whether that means using a CRM tool or even just working out of a basic spreadsheet, you need to implement something if you truly want to strengthen your relationships and close more business.
Devise a Strategy
Tony believes that if you want to turn relationships into future business, you need to hone in on 3 questions: Who? How often? And what do I say?
Knowing “Who” to reach out to can be tricky. The key here is being able to identify A) who is just a name in your database, and B) who is a valuable relationship worth cultivating. For entrepreneurs with large lists, this distinction is crucial. It’s the only way to keep everybody straight and only focus on the people who will actually bring you more business down the line.
Knowing “How often” to reach out will depend on a few factors… How close are you to the person? How do they relate to your business? How frequently do they reach out to you? It’s up to you, but a good rule of thumb is to check in with people at least once every 60 days. Once you start going more than 2 or 3 months without staying in touch, relationships will start to fade.
Knowing “What do I say” will also depend heavily on the individual, but you must come from a genuine place. And be human!
It’s the Thought That Counts
You might worry that staying in touch through email, text, or social media is simply too impersonal. You’re behind a screen… you’re typing on a device of some kind… Tony agrees that face-to-face interaction whenever possible is preferable, but the medium of communication is not as important as the message delivered. Even in the form of a quick email, genuine intentions can go a long way.
The main point here is that the message you convey speaks much louder than the tool through which you sent it. If you merely send someone a quick “Hello, how are you?” with no thought behind it, well yeah! That’s impersonal! But if you take a minute to genuinely ask how their business is going or how their vacation went, that’s a personal touch that will be well received.
Conversely, if you reach out with the direct objective of trying to get something from somebody, it will likely backfire. In person or online, an insincere communication is easily noticed and felt.
If you reach out with the general objective of simply engaging or offering help with no ask in return, the relationship will grow. And eventually, those relationships will turn into business of one kind or another.
The Bottom Line
Relationship management is truly the difference between closing some business… and closing a lot of business. The difference between a five, six, or seven-figure career.
Better relationships mean more business. More business means more money. And if you know how to flow your money the right way, you will build massive wealth.
I teach an entire course on how to flow your money and build millions. Click here to learn more.