May 21, 2019
Excerpts: Success Is in Your Sphere: Leverage the Power of Relationships to Achieve Your Business Goals
Setting Up the Right Habits So You Can Play the Long Game
The CAPITAL strategy, laid out in Band’s new book, Success Is in Your Sphere, walks the professional through a strategic approach to nurture your business and careers’ most important asset - relationships.
The CAPITAL strategy, broken down, is:
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." —Will Durant
If you were to take only one part of the CAPITAL strategy to heart and read only one chapter, it would be this one. Proper implementation and resilience around this one topic can be the key to untold success with your relationships.
While this is a seemingly simple theory in concept, the actual execution is incredibly challenging. As we discussed, one of the barriers to maintaining relationships is that your mind usually puts the long-term benefits of any task on the back shelf, so anything that doesn’t help you right now is less likely to get done, especially if it has to be done repetitively. Modern technology will also more likely interrupt us than help us with that goal. Thus, being intentional is all the more important.
I'm pleading with you to take this to heart, and end this chapter having implemented at least one of these tactics.
So, back to the CAPITAL strategy.
The C stands for Consistent execution.
The CAPITAL strategy requires people, process, and systems. Of the three, which is the most likely to fail? I'll give you a hint: 80 percent of commercial airline accidents are due to pilot error, not bad planes or system failure.
You are the weakest link. Your weakness at doing the same repetitive task continuously over months and years, with no clear outcome, is the problem.
You need to ensure that your approach to relationship marketing is executed consistently over years. You need to build a habit.
The Value of Habit
Good relationships develop over months and years, not days and weeks. So if you're serious about building a strong network or sphere, this is not something you can just do once and be done with. Nor is this a skill that you can just build up to in 10,000 hours and "have."
In chapter 1, we discussed that strong relationships are extremely helpful for business generation and retention. Knowing the right people can lead to increased referrals, repeat business, and new opportunities. There are two challenges to that. First, there is a high level of unpredictability as to when a new opportunity might be generated from a certain relationship, if at all. Because there is usually no immediate reward from relationship-building activities, you have to focus on the long-term benefits.
That's a pretty big hill to climb.
The further out the reward, the less inclined we are to do the actions that generate it.
Houston, we have a problem. We are then, by nature, unlikely to invest our time continuously in relationship-building activities.
But we know:
- That deal you just closed: there’s a high likelihood that client will be in the market again in 5 years and unquestionably so in the next 10 years.
- That prospect you just met with: she’s not ready to move forward yet, but could be in 2, 3, or 12 months.
- That person who came in for an interview: while he may not be a fit right now, he could be a strong candidate with two more years of experience and maturity.
- That introduction you just received: she didn’t respond to the first e-mail, but might after the second or third.
There is gold at the end of the rainbow, so how do we enable ourselves to get there?
That's why we talk about habit. If we can implement the behavioral change necessary to execute with any regularity, we will set ourselves up for that longer-term benefit.
Let's relate this to other habitual activities society (and science) prescribes for us.
- Eating healthful foods.
- Exercising regularly.
- Brushing and flossing.
Don’t get me wrong. All of these aforementioned activities have some short-term benefit. If you don't believe me, try having a light salad for lunch one day, and a burger and fries the next day. How do you feel in the early afternoon? Point made.
Even relationship building has some short-term benefit. Given our social predisposition, the act of interpersonal connection does check a psychological box for us. We usually feel good after talking to someone, more so if we are engaging with a past relationship. If nothing else, we checked something off our list, and at least tried.
However, the larger balance of value reciprocated from these best practices happens over the long term. Compare the guy who's eaten fast food his entire life with the woman who watches her diet and intake. You can safely assume that there is a canyon-sized gap in health and quality of life.
To implement that behavioral change so we can regularly invest time in our relationships with the end zone in mind, we need to build that habit.
Excerpted from Success Is in Your Sphere: Leverage the Power of Relationships to Achieve Your Business Goals.
Published by McGraw Hill on May 21st, 2019 - available now for preorder.
Copyright © 2019 by Zvi Band.
All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ZVI BAND is the cofounder and CEO of Contactually, a leading CRM platform for relationship-oriented businesses. He is an engineer, developer, startup advisor, relationship marketing strategist, and author of SUCCESS IS IN YOUR SPHERE: Leverage the Power of Relationships to Achieve Your Business Goals (McGraw-Hill, May 21). He lives in the Washington, DC area.