Friday, July 25, 2014

Business Relationships

As a naturally introverted person (an INTJ for those familiar with Myers-Briggs), I have always struggled with the multitude of surface level relationships that accompany a business career.  I love sharing deep conversations about things that are important to others but it’s taken me a lot of effort to get comfortable with the superficial discussions that can open many doors in the business world.

Adding to my frustration, I spent many years working for large companies filled with salespeople who bragged about the strong relationships they had forged with their customers.  When those supposed relationships didn’t facilitate sales, it only hastened my cynicism about their value.   In fact, I frequently found myself chiding salespeople by proclaiming “relationship” to be the most overused and abused word in business.

In my five years with GWC Warranty, however, several things have happened to change my outlook.  First, I’ve continued to mature:   When I was younger, I thought success was earned through intelligence and hard work, and that the story was always in the numbers.   Today I have a much greater appreciation for the people side of things. 

Second, I’ve come to see how, in a true sales culture, relationships matter in ways I was unable to appreciate when I worked with inferior sellers.  The best salespeople at GWC don’t get ahead by schmoozing or collecting relationships like trading cards.  Instead, they earn relationships based on respect, sincerity and really delivering for their customers.  It’s why I continue to believe that the top GWC salespeople are world class sellers and world class people.  And it’s another reason why I’m lucky to work for a company filled with people who can do things much better than I could do them myself.

What Am I Reading?


It’s mid-summer but I haven’t been to the beach once, so let’s use that as an excuse for my limited reading of late!  However, I am just starting Alice Hoffman’s The Museum of Extraordinary Things, which traverses horror, magic and love at a Coney Island showcase of living wonders circa 1911.

A more realistic excuse is that I’ve been using the air-conditioned summer to binge-watch a number of amazing television shows:  Season 2 of Orange is the New Black, Season 1 of The Americans the bleak new HBO series The Leftovers (based on the Tom Perrotta book I blogged about last year) and finally, all 3 (admittedly short) seasons of BBC’s Sherlock, starring the omnipresent Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, both of whom seem to be popping up in way too many movies and shows these days! 

sherlock-titleSherlock, however, is fascinating and I’ve been telling everyone who will listen to at least watch the first 4 episodes (there are only 9 in total, each 1-1/2 hours) and prepare to be astounded.  Great storytelling, compelling characters and riveting performances from everyone involved; makes me want to go back to England (as if I need another reason to long for that trip!)

Finally, if you want to know more about what’s keeping me interested and entertained between blogs, follow me on Twitter (@RobGlander).  You will only rarely get a business-related tweet and are more likely to hear me share interesting travel photos or rave about a band or movie I love, but it’s quick reading; I can only do so much damage in 140 characters!