How to Track Your Best Clients and Partners

I read a lot of books to stay current with what’s going on, or even to disagree with the point of view presented. Frequently, something written resonates with what I see happening or believe makes a huge difference in business.

Right now, I’m reading Andrew Sobel’s book All for One. It’s about building strategies for trusted partnerships. One of the concepts in the book is about developing relationship hubs, the 15 to 20 critical people for whom you can make a difference and that can make a difference to you and/or your company. There are five steps to developing your relationship hubs, I just want to talk about the last, staying in touch. One quote caught my eye. Kenneth Moelis of Moelis and Company said, “When you talk to a client every day or every week, you have plenty to say. The conversations can go on and on. When you talk to them every six months, you’ve got nothing to say.” When you don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life, you’re staying from scratch every time you pick up the phone to talk with them. That’s not a relationship!

Andrew recommends a relationship building plan that gets to write how much you know about each of your critical few, those 15 to 20 people that make a difference, in four areas; as a person, both the basics and deeper knowledge and as a professional, both basics and deeper knowledge.

The basics as a person include such things as their spouse, partner and children, interests, educational background, hobbies, and favorite authors, movies, books, restaurants. Deeper knowledge as a person includes any formative life experiences, personal ambitions, issues they may be dealing with, non-profit or charitable involvement.

The basics as a professional include things such as preferred means of communication, career history, pressing business issues right now and work style (early, late, weekends?). Deeper knowledge of your critical few as a professional include strengths and weaknesses as an executive, role models or mentors, career goals, and the quality of their relationships on the job with boss or direct reports.

Finding and keeping track of that kind of information on 15 to 20 people may seem daunting. I’m working with a software product right now called Xeesm that helps you both find much of the personal and deeper knowledge your critical few share and track them on a ongoing basis. It lets you set up profiles of people and connects you to all of their social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, blogs, and websites, so you can quickly see what’s happening in their lives on both a personal and professional basis. You can find my profile at You can sign up for your own free profile by following my link or call me to find out more about Xeesm and start tracking your best clients and partners.

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