April 02, 2013

What Is Your Relationship Management Objective?

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Relationship Objective? What is that?

It's a fancy term for defining what you want your network to help you with most. There are tremendous benefits that can arise when you leverage your network for business opportunities. When this happens, you should experience an increase in the referrals and repeat business that you get, which we can link directly to professional growth. You might also be looking for opportunities indirectly linked to your success, such as finding great talent to hire.

Beyond the professional realm, let's be honest. Some of the most meaningful opportunities are defined by our personal needs and wishes. If you met the "love of your life" via an introduction from a mutual friend, it's clear that your friend thinks the world of you, knew that you were single and acted accordingly.

What is your relationship objective?

Believe it or not, I think you already have one! At this point you may have only done this subconsciously because it's not something that many of us make the effort to define it cognitively. If you haven't done so yet, this blog post is your invitation to join us in doing so. It might lead to a better understanding of how you can maximize your time with Contactually and what you want to achieve with it.

Why bother with a relationship objective?

I believe it is part of the fundamental condition that people want to help the people about whom they care. It is almost a guarantee that you have many people in your network that care about you. So we need to ask this simple question: Have you done what it takes to make it as easy as possible for those people to help you? Have you told them about the opportunities that you seek? If your answer is no, why not? Is it because you are not very clear about that yourself? If this is even only fractionally true for you, then you know why it might be worth taking the 10 minutes to explicitly define your relationship objective.

This is a lightweight answer to this question above: if you want to learn about some of the secrets that'll better explain why this is so powerful, I would recommend reading this article on the Mindmavin blog. It's a bit more of a deep dive.

How to Define your Relationship Objective

Ask yourself: When do people think of you? Or, better yet, when should people think of you? Whatever the answer is to that question is likely your primary relationship objective (or at least, it's very close).

8 Steps to Take When Defining Your Relationship Objective :

  • Know that you already have one - you just have to find it.

  • As you do, define it as what is most important to you.

  • Be as focused as humanly possible.

  • Train people with every interaction on your relationship objective.

  • Stay very genuine about your relationships. Do not let them become transactional. Do not engage in a way that doesn't feel right to you.

  • Make that message as visual as possible. It will stick better that way.

  • Be consistent and repetitive with that message.

  • Reevaluate your relationship objective on a regular basis (every 6 months or after trigger events) to see if what you are chasing is still true for you.

To make things a bit easier we created this simple but effective worksheet to help you define your relationship objective. Take a look by clicking here.

Now that I have one, how do I best use Contactually ?

Here are a few simple tips:

  • Review the deep dive article for tips that you can use once you know your objective.

  • Be clear who in your network needs to know about this most, simply because they have the best ability to connect you with the opportunities you seek. Add them to a bucket with a name that works well for you. (I call that bucket "Referral generation.")

  • Take care when selecting your bucket list. It should have fewer than 20 people, and closer to 10 for those of you who are just starting out.

  • Set goals and take the steps to to have a face-to-face meeting, video call or (if it's the only option) a phone call with all of the people on your list within the next 6 weeks.

  • During that meeting, subtly deliver your relationship objective. (Let me know if you would love a blog post dedicated to this by sending me a quick email.)

If you feel comfortable, ask if anything comes to mind that relates to your relationship objective. Hey, you might generate more than ten opportunities just because you read this article and followed its advice. If you do, please let me know - there's nothing I love more than success stories.