Top 10 Lessons From Tim Sanders on Building Relationships

Greg Linnemanstons
Posted by Greg Linnemanstons on September 17, 2013

ceiling_architectureRecently I was an attendee and presenter at Cultivate, a business growth event sponsored by our local chamber of commerce here in Northeast Wisconsin. We were fortunate to attract Tim Sanders as our keynote speaker, and Tim absolutely blew me away.

For those who haven't heard of Tim, he's a former Yahoo exec now earning a living as an author, speaker and consultant. He's often referred to as a Public Consultant because of the reputation he has for doing prodigious research on his audiences so he can tailor his remarks to deliver the most relevant and compelling commentary. If I had known that going in I would have been prepared for the absolute deluge of wisdom that flowed effortlessly from Tim...but because I didn't do my homework I found myself instead scrambling for scraps of paper so I could capture in my old-fashioned ink-on-paper approach the best of Tim's gems.

You'll see from this list that Tim isn't just a content creater, he's also an aggregator who joyfully accumulates and shares other people's great ideas. Which is likely one of the leading reasons he's assembled such an incredible professional network, because he's so unreserved about sharing the best ideas of everyone with whom he comes into contact.

Before I get into the list I assembled through active listening and scribbling, the most important things you should know about Tim are how much importance he places on positive attitude, and the value he sees being derived from interpersonal relationships. You can see these themes in his first book (Love Is The Killer App: How to Win Business & Influence Friends) and in his latest (Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence).

So it's hard not to listen to Tim and be inspired and motivated to act on his observations and advice. Which is why I decided the best thing I can do with what I heard is play it forward and share with our readers. I'm sure they're relevant, since many of his ideas seemed perfectly aligned with Inbound Marketing principles we rely on. At the very least, our team here will read it and know something about the ideas that moved me. In no obvious order:

Top 10 Lessons From Tim Sanders

  1. 25/200 Rule of Marketing & Sales: Reduce by 25% the time it takes prospects to select you as vendor or provider and your business will grow 200%, because your sales funnel will become exponentially more productive. Create urgency, provide compelling evidence, make your solution obvious, accelerate your credibility.
  2. Law of Reciprocity: This is the positive take on "what goes around comes around." The best relationships, in business and in life, start by practicing generosity. We can start building relationships by encouraging trust and credibility by giving away value without expecting anything in return.
  3. The Abundance Mentality: This is courtesy of the late Stephen Covey, the author of the "Seven Habits" books and classes. The lesson here is that we have a choice to have either a scarcity mentality (zero sum game) or an abundance mentality that says collaboration helps expand the universe of possibilities, and makes it possible for win/win to be the norm.
  4. "A Leader's Role is to Define Reality, and Then Give Hope." Tim attributed this quote to Napoleon, and it's brilliance is obvious: start with the truth of a situation today, provide a vision of what could be, and evidence that the vision is attainable. Wonderful in both simplicity and power.
  5. Feed Your Mind Good Stuff. According to Tim, if you feed your mind poison, you'll eventually poison your mind. He's talking about the content that we're exposed to every day. If it's mostly negative and depressing information, we're likely to develop a negative view of the world and our role in it. Taking an active role in feeding your mind puts you more in control of the attitudes you carry about possibilities.
  6. Your Knowledge, Your Network, and Compassion. This is the answer to the question, "What can you give that grows as you give it away?" It could also be the answer to "What costs you nothing but has more value each time you give it?" An integral part of Tim's secret sauce for growing relationships, and a specific implementation of the Law of Reciprocity.
  7. You Never Get Dumber by Making Someone Else Smarter. This is one reason Tim advocates being a proactive mentor. Start by identifying high potential people who would benefit from and respond to mentorship, engage them with a sense of accountability, and empower them to act on the accelerant you provide to them.
  8. Be a Multiplier, not a Diminisher. Tim challenged us to learn from author and consultant Liz Wiseman whether our management style was multiplying or diminishing the people around us. Start with awareness about our impact, and then learn how to make multiplying our dominant style.
  9. Your Network is Your Net Worth. Both a statement of the value your network can play in your professional success and happiness, and a book by the same name offering a roadmap for value-based networking 2.0. Tim takes this to heart by each week attempting to introduce three people in his network who should meet, and then getting out of their way. Awesome idea!
  10. The Leaders of Today Are the Leaders of Tomorrow. Great leaders never stop leading until they leave us, they just take different roles. So becoming a great leader, and mentoring great potential leaders, creates value that benefits whatever communities we're part of, for as long as we can contribute.

Are you inspired by any of these ideas? If you are, share it with someone in your network. At the very least you'll earn appreciation for a valuable positive idea. And maybe you'll inspire someone else to do the same.

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing

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