Shining the Spotlight on Professional Relationships

Most people I work with understand how to build, nurture and leverage relationships. I can help by providing some tips and hacks but the most important part of my work is shining a light on what people should be doing, what they know but don’t necessarily practice because everything else gets in the way.

At the end of a facilitated discussion with a client’s sales team this morning, one member of the leadership team suggested reintroducing a referrals target to their weekly meetings. It’s something they did in the past but let slip.

I suggested that introducing yet another target for sales might not be the most impactful approach. Instead of focusing on the end result, the referrals, I suggested that they might be better off encouraging the behaviours that lead to referrals.

My work on professional relationships strategy is split into three stages – building, nurturing and leveraging those relationships. My suggestion was that they ask each team member (in their monthly, rather than weekly, meeting to allow more discussion time) to share:

– One new relationship that they have focused on building over the last few weeks
– An existing relationship they have sought to nurture and what they have done to do so
– An existing relationship they have leveraged (for example, asking for a referral) and the outcome.

Not only would this shine the spotlight on the relationships essential to their success, but it would also allow for a free exchange of ideas and best practices to inspire different approaches. It would also be more inclusive than a referrals target, allowing non-sales staff to participate, focusing on the relationships that are key to their role.

What do you think? Can you see this working within your team?