Take the time to get to know those you serve

In a universe where the power of social networks is seemingly overtaking the perceived value of one-to-one relationships, I wanted to provide a much-needed perspective on how you can go about influencing others in a more profound and impactful manner.

Commencing with this issue, I will explore in a five-part series how you can with greater purpose and intent, establish and accelerate your relationship currency. I will share the different attributes, characteristics and actions to embrace as you ascend through the five stages of the Relationship Capital Continuum model.

By way of background, relationship capital is the distinctive value created by people in a business relationship.

It is personal and derived from one-to-one interactions because it represents the quality of your behaviors, traits and interactions over a period of time. It is a direct reflection of your character, as experienced by those who know you and can testify to your qualities.

Missed opportunities
Within the B2B space, a high percentage of client-facing individuals have established themselves as SMEs or subject matter experts within their respective fields. They are recognized for possessing domain experience and are perceived as being authentic, credible and trustworthy to the stakeholders they serve. These individuals are relied upon for their functional expertise.

Some of the typical attributes or characteristics at this level of the Relationship Capital Continuum include being technically sound, execution-focused, deliberate, mindful, attentive and more comfortable offering guidance on a limited scope of topics.

Being focused on going “deep and narrow” is extremely important and vital to specialization. However the reality of the matter is when you concentrate on demonstrating expertise, you miss a great deal of opportunity to build higher levels of relationship currency.

Understanding the Relationship ABCs is vital if you want to move beyond this level. Knowing the aspirations, beliefs and concerns of the key people you serve provides a platform for expanding the sphere of impact you can have.

We have all heard the words which ring so true to this day: “People do not care how much you know, they appreciate how much you care.”

Build your currency
With this in mind, you need to invest the requisite time to understand the passions, values and challenges, both personally and professionally, for the key stakeholders you serve. This is an iterative process, but it opens up many possibilities to distinguish yourself.

As you reflect on these insights, it is incredibly important to recognize the critical role we play in our respective spaces. We must move beyond our comfort zone to impact others in a more meaningful and profound manner. Ascending from subject matter expert to indispensable partner will open up a world of possibilities to distinguish yourself and build higher levels of relationship currency.

As we learn and grow from embracing this type of thinking, remember we live in a world of plentiful networking opportunities where our challenge is not to unveil more connections, but unleash more meaning.

Marc Rosen is co-founder at The Client Experience Institute and president of the Vector Group LLC.