Relationships Unlock Doors

Key is RelationshipsProfessional service businesses are generally businesses of relationships. Prospects become clients one conversation or contact at a time, through trust, credibility, and confidence.

Of course, this has been the case for many years. But how does a Sales 2.0 world change what needs to be done to grow these types of businesses? The most recent research suggests using social tools very selectively and carefully to improve how you and your staff collectively nurture relationships and cultivate clients.

LinkedIn is an excellent tool to create your roadmap to deeper professional relationships. For example, if you do a lot of work in biotech or associated disciplines, should seek to connect with business development people in life sciences. You can search using that a variety of terms to determine who and your staff know and just as importantly, who else knows someone relevant to your effort.

Even people who you have never talked business with may be a mutual connection between you and the life sciences business development people to whom you can be introduced. Now, you have someone who is not only a contact but will be happy to introduce to those contacts at an industry event.

Understanding the road map of professional relationships is important. But now, technology makes reading that road map so much easier. Just as importantly, note that technology isn’t a substitute for personal relationships, it simply facilitates what we already know we need to do.

As new technologies are developed, I’ll be looking at whether they help drive and cultivate the relationships that fuel my business. LinkedIn is one of the best tools today, but nobody knows what the future holds and what better tools will come along. A Sales 2.0 world hasn’t really changed how we must market our companies. More accurately, it’s given us more ways to do what we need to do today and will need to do for years to come.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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