Are You Building Relationships or Doing Transactions?
Molly Fletcher is a trailblazer in every sense of the word. As president of client representation for sports and entertainment agency CSE, she spent two decades as one of the world’s only female sports agents. Hailed as the “female Jerry Maguire” by CNN, she recruited and represented hundreds of sport’s biggest names, including Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, PGA TOUR golfer Matt Kuchar, broadcaster Erin Andrews, and basketball championship coaches Tom Izzo and Doc Rivers. Today, Molly shares her unconventional and unique techniques that made her one of the first female sports agents in the high-stakes, big ego world of professional sports and now a successful entrepreneur. In the post below, Molly explains the importance of always working to cultivate relationships:
In business, you’re losing ground if you are simply executing transactions and not cultivating relationships. You have to be about more than the sale, service or product. You have to be about the relationships that will determine your success.
So what’s the difference between being transactional and being relational? Here are the behaviors associated with each, and my best tips to help you stay aware of being as relational as possible in your daily work.
You are Transactional When You….
- Discuss and care about only the business at hand.
- Stay so focused on finalizing the sale or deal that you forget the person on the other side of it.
- Fail to be 360 degrees aware of the potential in the relationship. This means knowing the goals, needs, gaps, values and fears of your clients and colleagues.
You are Relational When You….
- Briefly (it only takes a minute!) ask the person you are are working with about themselves. This helps you stay conscious of the person at the other side of this deal.
- Don’t rush.
- Understand the value that this transaction holds for the business beyond the signatures, service, goods and money that are exchanged.
To help you become more relational, follow my most valued steps to connecting with clients that are listed here. With practice, they will have a powerful impact on your relationships, just as they’ve had on mine. Each question will help you focus your approach to the people behind the transactions.
Today You Can Become More Relational by…
- Being respectful. What do you respect about the person you are meeting with? What is your common ground?
- Being authentic. What are your most important values that can influence this relationship in a natural way, especially in the face of adversity?
- Knowing yourself. Why do you want this relationship?
- Being a giver, not a receiver. What are some things you have that will benefit this person – perhaps ideas, or connections with others?
- Drawing out the other person. Does this person have “hot buttons” – certain issues that he or she is passionate about and you can tap into?
- Inspiring them in a real way. If appropriate, what can you uniquely and personally share to make this encounter genuine and memorable?
- Connecting with humor. What makes this person laugh? What does that reveal about him or her?
- Identifying key moments for them. Is there an upcoming work anniversary, professional honor, or career change that needs to be recognized?
- Executing with urgency. Will you show this important person in a timely manner that you deliver what you promise?
- Delivering with consistency. Over time, do your ongoing actions show that you value their business and you always will follow up?
Your Game Changer Takeaway
Great business relationships aren’t built overnight. Paying attention to the person and not just the deal is not that hard to master, as long as you keep it top of mind daily. When we become more relational than transactional, we tap the potential for so much more than the deal at hand. It’s an investment that will pay off again and again, well into the future. Pick a couple of the tips from this blog to begin strengthening your business relationships today.