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Looking back at the factors that have helped create a sustainable business model for over 20 years, I reflect on marketing strategies, sales skills, training and always trying to do the right thing, in addition to a variety of other factors that can—and have—contributed to success. As all of these (and more) are considered, we’ve found that top performers in every business have one thing in common: They know how to build, cultivate, nurture and maintain deep, longstanding relationships.

We call this the art of “BRT,” or building relationships with trust. As we go through life, we’ll have material things come and go, and while we may accumulate wealth or possessions, it’s through deep and meaningful relationships that we find real value in our existence. Relationships with agents, brokers, team members, vendors, partners, clients, family, church groups, friends from school, charities etc., have the ability to define our lives and become the measuring stick for success.

Imagine if each person you connect with you do so with a specific purpose to connect on a deeper level and build a relationship that has the ability to survive any transaction. You would get paid for the service you provide, but your greater value would come from building another real connection, where you have the ability to have a positive impact on that person’s life.

Building Relationships With Trust as a System
I’m a big believer in systems, and if you find something that works, create a system for it so that you can duplicate that system, as well as the success that comes from following it. Here are the steps to effective BRT:

  1. Listen to understand, not to respond.
  1. Be interested, not interesting.
  1. Learn the tried-and-true FORD dialogue and ask questions about Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams.
  1. Take notes after each meeting and record the things you learn or discover.
  1. Keep notes about family and personal interests in your database and review notes from previous meetings prior to your next scheduled appointment. Be sure to bring up things from past meetings so that they know you were paying attention.
  1. Connect on social media and respond to what they post with a thumbs up or a simple comment.
  1. Whenever you have a touch with a relationship, always schedule the next touch. Whether it’s a call, email, birthday card or simply taking the time to check in, if you put this on your calendar and follow up, you’ll be blown away by just how quickly you can accumulate great relationships.

The bottom line is that everyone in your life has a story. They all have challenges and they all have victories, and we all need people to share these life experiences with. As you focus on developing and building relationships with trust in every area of your business and life, the money will always take care of itself. And, more importantly, the impact you have on the world will be measured by the impact you have on others—not by how much you sold, or the money you made.

Workman_Verl_2017_100x100Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems (385-282-7112), an international speaking, consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams. Contact him at For more information, please visit

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