Of all the misused sales buzzwords in the industry, I believe that the word “relationship” is number one. As I said in my previous post, everyone knows someone. But what exactly does “knowing” someone mean in networking terms? Is that the same as having a relationship? Are you an acquaintance? Friends? I get few clear answers to these questions when discussing the topic with colleagues. However, I would argue that being able to both identify and quantify industry relationships is the key to successful sales.
The first step is in this process is understanding the difference between “company” relationships and “people relationships.” A frequent complaint I hear from sales people is that when their contact person working for a potential target leaves for another company, that potential tends to go with them. To combat this frustrating scenario, our team in Paragon Corporate has recently started to rate both our relationships with individuals working for a company, as well as the company itself. By using both the formula and the chart below, we gotten a much better perspective on our potential targets.
Avg. People Connection + Company connection= Strength of Your Company Relationship
To use this chart, first make a list of every person that you know at target company. Then, using the the “people connection” column of the chart, decide which box best describes your relationship with that person. After you have selected a box, write down the corresponding number in the “level” column. Do this for each person listed and then find the average. Make note of this number.
After rating each of your people connections, use the “company connection” column to find the box that best describes your relationship with that company. After you have selected a box, write down the corresponding number found in the “level” column.
Finally, add your “company connection” level to your “people connection” average. This number will give you the strength of your company relationship.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where we will discuss how to quantify this relationship number.