A few months after I first started my coaching and consulting business a friend told me about someone who could use my services. The owner had a business with a couple locations and had his eyes set on a few more.

During our first meeting he readily admitted that he had no people skills and spent a lot of time in conflict with his team members. They stayed with him because the wages were good and he offered performance bonuses that weren’t a mainstream practice in his industry.

After our first meeting he would call me every now and then. He’d ask a question or suggest we have lunch and then pick my brain. I never thought much of it because the calls were far and few between. When I’d give him a suggestion I might get an email that said “Thanks for your help. Your advice worked out well for me.”

Learning to value people is something that takes time. People need to learn to trust you.

My intuition told me there was some value in establishing a relationship with him. It could lead to other opportunities. He is a leader and well respected in his community and sans the lack of people skills our values, both personal and professional were in alignment.

Marketing Messiah Russell Brunson said in a recent podcast. “Five good friends beats a hundred thousand subscribers any day.” I saw him as potentially one of those “good friends.”

If I drew something that resembles a family tree he would be the trunk and the twelve or so referrals he gave me over the years would be its branches. He invited me to speak at a state conference for his industry as well as conducting his management retreats. He introduced me to a whole bunch of folks and even had me interviewed by a trade publication he was on the editorial board of.

Trust is not something you pour water on, stand back and watch it sprout in fifteen minutes. It comes from a cultivating a relationships one at a time.

I have people skills and I  understand what it is like to run a business and be a coach and try to figure out stuff all on my own and I know that before I write a check to someone I am gonna make sure the person I am writing it to knows what they are talking about.

He would call every six to eight weeks and ask if I had a minute to talk. It was a test. When I passed that test I was given another one so that by the time he had a real issue he knew the value of my services because he’d seen tangible results from the issues I helped him with in the past.

That was about it. Until one day…………..

The phone rang. Was I available for lunch? He had, in his words, a major problem.

When I sat down he looked across the table and said “I guess I need to start paying you, huh?” That relationship lasted almost 9 years.

We don’t create trust on the golf course. It comes when people SEE our integrity in action not just hear us blather on about it. It all starts with relationships. Google recently published a report that said it takes at least 16″touches” before someone will make a purchase in the digital world. A touch can be anything from an email, to a video to a free offering. Mostly, it’s the process of building relationships.

Do you know of any successful person or company who isn’t trusted by their customers?

Me neither.

So I begin this blogging journey with the knowledge that I’m not going to end up with a million readers by the time I wake up tomorrow. I know that it takes time.

Am I anxious? Yes! But I have to tell you, the story I shared and the process I used to create a long lasting relationship was one of five or so that helped me create a successful business over time. (Please note “over time.”) It wasn’t always easy.

As I’m preparing to hit the publish button my moms voice rings in my ears and I figure it’s some advice she wants me to share.

When I’d get all excited and wanted to run out the door willy-nilly she’d stop me and day “Whoaaa Cool Your Jets.”

Cool Your Jets = Build Relationships

(It’s the best advice I can give you)




A Fresh Start
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