Friend and Foe Alike
The 2012 presidential campaign is closer than we think. With each primary vote, the battle for the GOP nomination gets more heated. As with any campaign, as the final vote draws near, those who swore off mudslinging start slinging, and alliances that were once unlikely are forged. Mudslinging aside, the alliances that grow from adverse circumstance interest me the most.
Much like in politics, in sales strong alliances are key to growth. With an economy that has remained frustratingly sluggish, I think it's safe to say that times have been adverse for businesses. Perhaps the moment has come when you should consider creating new alliances—maybe even ones that pre-2008 would have seemed unlikely.
Recently, I spoke with a highly successful distributor who explained to me that the relationships she has built with suppliers have been paramount to the growth of her own business. Those connections have not only proven useful in assisting her business on the order placement side, but they have also been instrumental in sending her new referrals, an unexpected but welcome benefit of nurturing those relationships.
Comparing notes with the competition is another interesting way to learn how others in the same business are achieving their goals. Or, if you've been resisting the social network, stop. Great professional relationships can start through the internet. Or perhaps joining the board of a local nonprofit or lending a hand with community volunteer efforts will be just the thing to build your reputation as a leader.
No matter how you go about it, the real key here is to take a lesson from the presidential hopefuls: get out there and be seen. Building strong relationships within the industry and your community will be enriching not only personally but also professionally.