Are Relationship Management Skills a Predictor of Success

This post is one of a series of posts sponsored by UPS in support of the Inc Growco Conference held April 6-8 in Las Vegas, NV

Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back has built a multimillion dollar business out of his passionate message regarding relationships. In fact, he boldly claims that relationship management skills are the number one predictor of the success of an organization.

Now, to some, the idea of intentionally managing the relationships in your life, both personal and professional, may seem a tad contrived, and it certainly can be, but it’s really a matter of focus.

The things you pay attention to, the things you focus on will thrive and grow. With the crush of business running responsibility shouting in your ear, it can be easy to neglect your most important relationships. This can be true of a spouse or an important customer.

On the stage in Las Vegas, Ferrazzi’s presentation lacked cohesion. It felt as though he was giving a two hour presentation in a one hour time slot, but there is no way to ignore how much he believes in the power of the personal relationship as a tool to grow your business.

I’ve read and reviewed both of Keith’s books and appeared on a panel discussion with Keith and Seth Godin. I think Keith’s message is an essential part of the overall marketing mix and one that must be incorporated into your daily and weekly rituals.

Here’s an action step takeaway for you to sink your time into today:

  • Identify the 50 most important people to your business (this list will includes clients and current relationships, but it should also include people you would like to form a relationship with – stretch a little here)
  • Pick out 5 people on this list and do your homework on them (Use social media to learn more about what they are talking about)
  • Reach out to each one with a specific action item or way to help them

Simple, small steps, taken repeatedly in a focused and sincere effort to help others get what they want might be the best way to summarize relationship management at its finest.

If you want to take long term dive into Ferrazzi’s approach check out his Relationship Academy

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Dan Williams

    Love your articles! I’m a partner in a marketing and website development company, on the road 80% of the time working with clients. Most of the time I feel like a psychologist!

    • ducttape

      That’s so true – particularly when you work with small businesses – there’s little or no line between the business and the life

  • Dr. Angela Hausman

    I couldn’t agree more about the power of relationships and it doesn’t have to be contrived at all. We are community animals and thrive in environments full of rich interconnections. I like your list of ways to build better relationships and here are a few of my own.

    Care about people in your social graph; when they post something important in their lives, celebrate with them; when they have a problem, help them solve it or at least have empathy with them.

    Build up the people in your social graph, not constantly shouting about your own accomplishments. Thank them for commenting or saying something nice about you.

    Remember, it is better to give than receive.

    Angela Hausman, PhD
    Associate Professor of Marketing; Howard University

    • ducttape

      Angela – thanks for a wonderful sentiment. I want to take a tiny bit of issue with word choice, I’m wondering if our new fancy term social graph is contributing to the problem. I know it’s an in use term these days, but why are we turning people into graphs – I don’t get that one and wonder if it’s time to give up using it.

  • Sebastian

    Keith I think is going back to the “original” social networking: building face-to-face interactions.

    I think what often happens in our lives is that we don’t focus enough on building and maintaining relationships and that we rely on random chance to cultivate meaningful business interactions. I think he offers great insight in the why AND how physical relationships can be harnessed for successful business.


    • ducttape

      Yep, people act like community is a new thing!

  • Brian E. Satterlee

    I think a business should always be customer-centric. Meaning you find out what your customers need, want, and desire and you do your best to provide it to them. When you have business relationships that are close, you learn a great deal about each other that you can use to make your business better.

    • ducttape

      Totally agree, in fact, I doubt anyone in business would disagree, the problem is that no matter what you know to be true, if you don’t create a way to focus on it, the other stuff will crowd its way in.