Can You Quantify Your Company Relationships? (Part Two)
In my last post, we began a discussion about the importance of quantifying company relationships. Feeling confident in your professional network is essential for sales success. And that confidence begins with a thorough understanding of both your connections with individual employees and the company as a whole.
When we left off, we found our “people connection” by averaging the individual ratings that we gave each employee relationship. We then added that number to our “company connection” rating to find our overall relationships strength. Now, I did receive an email from a rather skeptical salesperson, who was concerned that rating individual employees for every company might take too long. But I find it important to reiterate that rating each employee relationship is essential to our rating process for the following reason:
Despite the old saying, networking is not just about “who you know.” It is also about “how well you know,” and “how many you know.”
There is a big difference between having relationships with non-decision makers vs decision makers. Similarly, there is also a difference between having several strong relationships with decision makers at a company vs having a relationship with a single decision maker. Although it is easy to describe our network in general terms, such as “Yes, I have a relationship with XYZ company,” it is critical to breakdown what the word “relationship” actually means. Now as a salesperson, I realize that this can be an extremely frustrating process (particularly if you discover that your relationships are not as strong as you would like them to be), however I would still argue that this is necessary first step.
Now that we have our both our people connections and our company connections quantified, let’s find our overall relationship strength. To find the strength, simply add your average people connection to your company connection. The resulting number should be between 1 and 10. Use the chart to find your strength range:
8 – 10 = Low Risk
Hardest to maintain. Greatest reward.
4 – 7.9 = Medium Risk
Hardest level to improve. Very difficult to get from a Medium to a Low Risk.
1 – 3.9 = High Risk
Evaluate the importance of this customer. Evaluate where you can make the most impact to increase your strength.
As you can see from the chart, most customers will fall in the “medium risk” section. This is very common and not necessarily indicative of a problem. However, too often sales people take customers for granted and assume that they are low risk when they are really medium risk or even high risk.
In summary, quantifying prospects can be a helpful tool in organizing your prospect list. It can also help limit surprises for your FBO sales team.