Thursday, September 2, 2010

Investing 101: Why I Focus on Building Relationships

(Note: Image courtesy of LumaxArt)

Lately, I've been contacted by many folks who tell me they are having a hard time finding deals in their market. And for those who have found a potential deal, many have told me they just don't know if it's a deal or not. So, things don't really work out.

Listening to these stories and the struggles involved really brings me back to my early days in sales. In the beginning, I really wanted to make things work. So, I asked the top sales rep for some advice. And, you know what he told me?

He told me the key to being successful was to stand apart from the rest - don't be like everyone else. Don't go chasing after business the way everyone else does. Make people want to see you, want to do business with you. And, the only way you're going to do that is by building relationships. By building relationships, you do one thing that most don't do - you build trust.

By building trust, it's not going to matter - people will automatically want to work with you, want to help you. But, if you don't take the time to build relationships and earn that trust - why should they do business or want to help you in the first place?

There is one more thing he told me that I will never forget. He said, "Don't focus on the sale. Focus on building relationships. If you do that, you won't have to worry - business will come to you."

And, I took his advice to heart. In the beginning, it was a bit of a struggle - it took up a lot of my time. I was having many meetings with the same people, yet nothing seemed to be going anywhere. I wanted that immediate sale, that immediate gratification. It seemed like an eternity.

Though, the top sales rep kept telling me to stay with it - be patient, be persistent and it will come. And then, he told me - when it comes, it will come big time.

So, I stayed with it. I took meetings, I showed up. And, I kept showing up. I showed up to the point where things finally started happening. I remember meeting with the CFO of one company at 6am in the morning. Many of my other peers thought I was crazy.

The top sales rep told me to do it. He told me our hours are not built around 9-5. If you have to meet people outside regular business hours, do it. If you do the things that most are not willing to do, it will be worth it. I guarantee it.

So, I continued to follow his advice. And, you know what? It worked.

Though it took time and I felt behind from the rest, I soon excelled among my peers. Within a short time, I was in the top 3 among my peers.

What I learned from this experience was the value and importance of taking the time to build relationships. Though it can seem very slow at first and feel like an eternity, it's important for the long term.

Just like the story of the turtle and the hare, it is the hare who had a fast start but guess who won the race? The turtle.

Much of what I do and my style of doing things has come from my sales experience. I learned firsthand the importance of building relationships and taking the time to do one thing that most don't do - CARE.

Honestly, despite all my formal sales training and seminars I attended (as there were many) - the one thing I learned in business was that it takes heart to succeed.

Having heart sets me apart from the rest. If I take the time to care about others, they will take the time to care about me. Even if it does not lead to business or a sale, it has all come back threefold with referrals.

For me personally, I know my approach sets me apart from everyone else. Just recently, I had a closing on this deal.

After the closing, the sellers told me they were so happy to have met me - they told me now they felt I was like family. And, it felt like they've known me forever(No kidding, their exact words!). They went on to say that I really do things differently from all those other investors. And, they personally invited me for a visit to their farm to experience true, country living.

It is situations like these that really make things worth it in the end - it's the mutual appreciation on both sides of the table. Does this happen all the time? No. But, when it does - it's definitely worth it.

For those out there who find themselves struggling or having a difficult time in this business, I urge you to re-evaluate what you are doing and how you are doing things. Are you doing things like everyone else? Or, are you different? What sets you apart from the rest?

Just like the advice the top sales rep gave me, if you can learn to stand out and be different from everyone else - you will succeed.

I'm going to leave you here with a video from Seth Godin that inspired this post.

Happy Investing!

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!

Video Link


Scott Costello said...


I couldn't agree more that building relationships is the most important thing. And you are right that it takes time and you feel as though you are not making any progress what so ever at first.

It's all about patience and commitment.

Great post and I'm really starting to be a huge fan of Seth Godin. Just finishing up my second book of his (All Marketers Tell Stories).

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Thanks Scott, glad you enjoyed it!

It's always interesting to see the dynamics between various types of investors. Sometimes I'm not the first person a seller(s) have spoken to. But, I have been told I am the most memorable and stand out among the rest. Even if it does not lead to an immediate sale or business, in the end - they remember me. And, that's what counts. :)

Oh, that's great about you liking Seth Godin's material. I really like what he has to say and his style - it's right on.

I have not read All Marketers Tells Stories, I may have to check it out. I'm re-reading Purple Cow myself. And, have been listening to Permission Marketing and Linchpin - both great reads.

Nice to hear from you, thanks for stopping by!

Shae said...

Amen Rachel!

That is all. :-)

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Oh lol, thanks Shae! :) p.s. Hope you had a good Labor Day weekend. Mine was spent all weekend getting this crazy home ready I just closed on (so much dust, and they cleaned it too!). But, I did get a chance to get in some good, fun and entertaining reading! :)