In the past year I’ve watched both of my parents hang up their corporate uniforms and hit the road together on various journeys to kick off their retirement together. I can remember going to my father’s office as a young kid and playing with typewriters and early versions of dot matrix printers. His staff would load me up with free swag and candy, which obviously made the business world look pretty cool to me.
What I didn’t understand at that time was that my old man was a Sales Manager and a pretty darn good one. He believed that his success and his personal brand differentiator was his ability to cultivate relationships. After all, people buy from people right?
We’ve stayed close over the years and I’ve been fortunate enough to pick his brain as my career has developed. He retired right around the same time that I joined Introhive, and one day I asked him what would happen to all of the contacts that he amassed and claimed ownership to over a 40 year career. He pointed to his head and said, “most of them are up here”.
You see my father is a baby boomer. He knows only what he needs to about technology (my mother still gives me calendars and address books at Christmas). He uses email, surfs the web on a first generation iPad and calls me to comment on Facebook posts. That’s when it hit us that there are millions of boomers retiring and making way for a younger, connected workforce.
So what happens to all of those connections?
People retire, people get laid off, and in an age where company loyalty barely exists, people change jobs every few years. How can companies ensure they are aligned to the right people at the right companies to seamlessly drive new business and retain existing business when they’re experiencing churn within their organization? The answer is relationship capital.
With social media enabling the workforce to build and grow relationships at an alarming rate we need to tangibly be able to understand who owns relationships that are helping to drive bottom line revenue for the organization. As companies, we need to align ourselves proactively so we can control the customer churn that employee churn typically causes.
As a sales professional, I’ve spent far too much time trying to re-forge relationships and apologizing to customers because we dropped the ball during periods of transition. I’d much rather walk into the account warm and spend more time solving my new client’s business issues. It’s a lot more fun and a lot less awkward.