Business Relationship Lesson from Funny Golf VideoNovember 26, 2014 | By Wayne O'Neill
I found this hilarious video on YouTube the other day and immediately recognized there was a similarity between this guy’s golf swing and how some people approach relationship-building.
Stop Overcomplicating Things
How do you manage your relationships with your clients and partners? Do you use a big, robust CRM (customer relationship management) tool to keep track of your interactions with them? Great. How is that working for you? Is it helping you develop deep relationships that will grow and strengthen your company?
Maybe you’re also attending a lot of networking events. Are those business cards doing you any good? Be honest, here.
The fact is, these are sales tactics. And sales is a short-sighted, lose/lose concept.
Relationships Need to Be Cultivated – Not Managed
Using a complex CRM tool or attending five networking events a week isn’t going to give you the depth and breadth of relationships you need to really make a connection with clients and partners. Checking off your list that you sent an email to that client at the scheduled time won’t give you a real connection to them.
At least none of that stuff will help alone.
The Connection Process is more thoughtful and deliberate. It’s about aligning, connecting and leveraging. It’s genuine, natural and uncomplicated.
- Gather and share information
You are probably already doing daily research and reading to keep up on your industry and your target client’s industry. Don’t keep this to yourself. Share this information strategically with your team and your client.
- Talk to them about their underlying needs – ask why
Spend time talking with your clients and partners to understand not only their business, but also the underlying issues they face each day. You might be surprised to find that your energy client is actually having a software issue – and one of your partners can help them solve it. Even if you and your company can’t solve the problem for the client directly, connecting that client with the right resource furthers the relationship and helps everyone involved. You’ll be first on the client’s mind when they do have a problem you can help them solve.
- Broaden your connection horizons
Think outside the box in terms of who you can build relationships with at each company. Connecting with the C-suite is helpful, yes, but so is getting to know someone on the engineering team or in the HR department. Each person at the company will have a unique perspective to share with you that will give you broader insight into the company – and how you can help them solve their problems.
The Bottom Line
Stop complicating your relationship-building. Swing that golf club from the heart, from a place of authenticity and genuine connection.
As Jason Day put it, “Swinging [the club] harder is not the best way to drive [the ball] farther.”