One of the keys to success is consistency. That is true with business, sports, and so much more. I can tell you that shooting a 39 on nine holes of golf is a great score. Then when you shoot a 50 on the back nine (11 more and 14 over par) turns an excellent 9 into a fair to bad 18 holes.
Although I may be disappointed that I could not achieve the consistency or a 39 on the front and back 9 (shooting in the 70s which would be awesome), I know that consistently playing and practicing more could help me achieve that.
Consistency can be defined as conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness. When it comes to sales and marketing, consistency is a moving target. Technology and the business environment continue to evolve. You can adapt and help to provide consistently, or consistently improve results.
If you follow me on social media (especially Facebook), you know that I do a motivational quote every morning (called Deep Bacon Thoughts), and a caption contest at night. I use an app and post a motivational quote that aligns with events in my life or the world at large. People often like those, but occasionally they strike a nerve with some people. Sometimes it's the funny bone (with a quippy reply), while others disagree with the sentiment. My goal is never to tell people what to think, but I will reply back with insight or the purpose of posting.
Often, the comments take a turn where the person disagrees or politicizes the meaning. This is where I reply with my view and perspective. A recent quote was from Brian Tracy that read “People ignore what you say. They are only concerned with what you do.”
One person wrote, “I think the opposite is very true in some politics.” This is especially true this time of year with an election on the horizon and the barrage of attack ads on every possible medium. In general, if you look at what they have done in the past, it's a good indication of the future. But those ads try to position someone's past as bad and you should fear a future with them.
I think the main point is that what you consistently do (or accomplish) will always be more powerful than what you say, in the long run.
Another consistent thing that I try to do is meet with people. Some of these meetings are with clients, while others are pure networking to meet new people. I am sure that we all appreciate in-person meetings more now since we have been tethered to online meetings for a year or more. Yet, it's still a great way to meet new and interesting people from different areas or even countries.
I have found that consistent weekly client meetings are part of the formula to success. There are two key factors. First, it shows a commitment to the plan, process, and outcomes. Secondly, it helps both to adapt to changes, overcome obstacles, and create consistency in communication. I find it important to have that consistent and open communication to ensure success for both parties.
I have also run a mastermind with the same core group of people for over 5 years. This group has continued to grow, and see new levels of success. It is a reflection of consistency. Consistency builds trust, and TRUST has to be earned.
Another quote caused some consternation. Someone compared respect to grace. I responded to that comment with this thought, “A wise person told me that TRUST is a 4-letter word! Respect takes trust. Grace takes forgiveness… but never forget why they needed your grace in the first place!”
Every month I post my daily Baconisms. These are quotes that I have created from my presentations, books, and more. So every day of every month I rotate over 30 quotes. One thing I know is not everyone sees them all every time, so that consistency helps me reach more people with the core of what I believe and teach.
One of the most powerful ones is a newer one that I post less often because it causes consternation with some people. It says, “You cannot outsource relationships.” There are two parts to this that have gotten pushback. One is the so-called gurus or influencers that just want to push social media as a panacea to build relationships. The second has to do with people who take it to the other extreme and connect with everyone in order to personally sell. This is what I call “Connect and Pitch.”
As I said before, Baconisms create awareness. That leads to conversations, which lead to mutual relationships of value. Showing up at networking meetings does the same thing. It's rare that I will show up in a Zoom with 50 people meeting on it, and not have someone reach out to have a personal one-on-one.
That means that you have to set aside time to meet with people, but there is a caveat. You also have to spend some time researching connections to see if there is value in that connection for both of you. All of us have taken that occasional meeting where it ends up with someone pitching you on their MLM (Multi-Level-Marketing) or some wonder supplement that cures scurvy (and every other disease under the sun). Yes… that just happened!
Ultimately, relationships take time. You can pay someone to read, reply, and post to social media, email, and more, but you can't pay someone to create the mutual value of a cultured relationship. That takes time, consistency, and commitment.
Final Thoughts and Lessons Learned
A friend was reminded about me from a networking meeting he attended. Another friend mentioned a social media post I made at that meeting. That triggered a call, but I was busy in another online networking meeting. I picked up the phone and said I would call him back (which I did shortly after). We had nothing to sell each other but had a fun and affirming chat. After catching up and a few laughs, he told me he was meeting with my mentor, Al Ritter in Chicago.
Al is an author whose quote I use in my Baconisms…
“Give 100% of Yourself… 100% of the Time… Expect Nothing in Return… and Watch What Happens!”
– Al Ritter
I know this sounds counterintuitive and conflicts with my point about researching people to limit the Connect and Pitches. It does not mean becoming a sucker or being willy-nilly with your time. It means, when you make a commitment, do so with consistency, and purpose.
Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about how you use consistency to build and grow business relationships (or maybe even your golf game).
To learn more about this and other topics on B2b Sales & Marketing, visit our podcast website at The Bacon Podcast