You want to build relationships before you need them. When you get that first real opportunity, you want to already be known. You want to have solid relationships.
You want to build value before you need to. You want to be known as a value creator and not a time waster. You want to be known as someone with ideas and the ability to help. This is why nurturing relationships is so important. It’s how you build.
You want to build a story together with your dream client. You want to collaborate with them to make it “our story.” You want your dream client invested in the story before you present or propose your solution. You are building something together.
You want to build consensus before you need it, too. When you are presenting in the board room, you want to already have the votes you need. You don’t want to build an opposition to your solution by leaving people out of the process.
You want to build the right expectations before you begin executing, and before your solution runs into trouble. You want your dream client to expect those challenges. You want to build an understanding as to how you are going to overcome the challenges, and that they are to be expected.
You want to build a successful handoff early. You want your operations team engaged with your dream client, known, and trusted before your kickoff.
You want to build trust before you do anything else. It’s trust that underlies your relationships. And it is trust that will get you through the most difficult conversations and the stickiest problems together. You build goodwill by having good intentions.
This is what it means to be proactive.
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