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    Are You Hunting Ducks or Building Relationships?

    Posted By David Nour on Feb 15, 2017 10:35:34 AM

    This morning I recommended a trusted resource (I’ve always disliked the term vendor) for the fourth time in six months, because I value their work and they consistently go the extra mile to make me look good. 

    Each of these other clients are very successful and extremely well-connected. It’s entirely possible that all of them will eventually make similar recommendations. 

    To put this another way, by giving me first-class service, this resource could turn one client into 16 clients. That’s 16 clients with an acquisition cost of zero… talk about a profitable growth strategy. 

    Surprisingly, this is not how most companies do business. Instead, they hire sales professionals with a “hunter” mindset who focus 95% of their effort on closing the sale. To the degree that anyone pays attention to the client after the sale, that work is often delegated to low-paid, young “customer satisfaction” employees.

    nour-hunting-vs-serving.png Image: copyright Nour Group

    My simple graphic above demonstrates the tremendous difference between these two approaches. In the top half, the hunter “bags” one duck - I mean client - at a time, and then must repeat the process again and again and again… entirely on their own. Some of those clients probably flee in short order, because they feel neglected or mistreated.

    In the bottom part of this image, one client (i.e. blue box) turns into 16 clients as subsequent clients make subsequent recommendations. The company that nurtures its clients can turn each client into many new clients. 

    Let me say this another way: the professional who nurtures his or her relationships will enjoy one success after another. 

    It is hard to overstate the exponential value of a relationship so strong that the other person volunteers to help you increase your income. Too often, both professionals and companies make the mistake of viewing a relationship as a mere transaction rather than a bond that can and should stretch years into the future. 

    No matter whether your role is sales, marketing, customer service, science, technology or serving lunch in the cafeteria, don’t accept a culture that treats other people as means to a quick buck. You - yes, you - will never reach your full potential in such an environment. 

    Making a recommendation is the ultimate business compliment, because it causes the other person to put his or her relationships on the line. If you’re not receiving - and giving - such compliments on a regular basis, you’d be wise to reexamine the ways that you “do business”. 

    We’re all fundamentally in the relationship business. Never forget that.

    This post was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse.


    David Nour has spent the past two decades advising executives on building business relationships. In the process, he has developed Relationship Economics® - the art and science of becoming more intentional and strategic in the relationships one chooses to invest in. In a global economy that is becoming increasingly disconnected, The Nour Group, Inc. has worked with clients such as Hilton, ThyssenKrupp, Disney, KPMG and over 100 other marquee organizations. David Nour is a strategic relationship keynote speaker, consultant, and advisor that helps these companies drive profitable growth through unique returns on their strategic relationships. Nour has pioneered the phenomenon that relationships are the greatest off balance sheet asset any organizations possess, large and small, public and private. He is the author of nine books translated into eight languages, including the best-selling Relationship Economics - Revised (Wiley), ConnectAbility (McGraw-Hill), The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Raising Capital (Praeger), Return on Impact (ASAE), and the 2017 forthcoming CO-CREATE (St. Martin’s Press), an essential guide showing C-level leaders how to optimize relationships, create market gravity, and greatly increase revenue. Contact David Nour to learn more, subscribe to the Blog, sign up for the Rendezvous Newsletter or request his speaking schedule availability for your organization’s next event.

    Topics: relationship_building

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