Relationships Matter

For those of us in Professional Services it is no mystery our success is driven by the quality of our relationships.  If they are strong, our service offerings are more likely to be purchased.  For those in the employment marketplace it is also self evident that if during one’s career,  quality relationships were engendered, they are of invaluable assistance in securing the “next” position.

Relationships crave categorization for “marketing purposes.” 

  1. A List – They know you the best, and appear to be in the best position to be of assistance
  2. B List – They know you and may be in a position to be of assistance
  3. C List – They know you, and you are uncertain as to their level of desire, or position to be of assistance

Logic would say, you really don’t spend much time on your C List.  Yet a funny thing happened to me on both my consulting and personal journeys over the last year.

For context, how I leverage my C List is quarterly send an article, link, or a simple Checking In note “How are you doing?”

Three years ago in the process of setting up Discussion Partner Collaborative, I had occasion to spend time in Peru, which had been a target market of mine in a previous consultancy.  I had not seen my “clients” for over a decade… clearly they were on my C List yet as I had stayed in touch, I sought them out, and secured a number of them as foundational clients for the new enterprise.

Yet this is not my point… the weird part is a former client from 16 years past, with whom the extent of my interaction for years was Check in Notes of “How is it going,” prompted a one-word response of nothing more than “Fine,” recently became my wife.

I am sure there is an interesting moral in the above… you can draw your own conclusions… but mine is… without this protracted effort maitining C List relationships, I would still be single!


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