Influence Insider: From IBM Salesman to Industry Creator
Learn why Mike hates the term “relationship management” even though he created the category. Also, find out the four elements necessary to build lasting connections.
ConversionAid: Interview with Mike Muhney
In 1986, Mike Muhney co-founded a software business that eventually failed. In this podcast, VIPorbit Software CEO shares how this failure led to an even bigger success.
It Takes More Than a Tool
Tools alone don’t get a job done. If that were true, a simple trip to the local hardware store would mean countless DIY projects could be considered complete. No, even the best tool in the world is only part of the equation. So what else is needed to go from supplies to success? Consider adding these three to your toolbox:
Tools + Knowledge
Standing in an operating room, with a table full of surgical instruments does not a doctor make. The same can be said of virtually any profession. Tools of the trade require knowledge to get results. Education can take place in and outside a traditional classroom. Obviously some academic pursuits require more education, in more formal environments than others, say a medical degree, while others can be self-taught. Knowing what surgical implements are intended for what procedures isn’t enough for most patients to agree to undergo a given procedure. Faith in the doctor is often extended because the practitioner wielding said tools has obtained knowledge certified by a Medical Board Examination. It takes tools and knowledge.
Tools + Attitude
The best tool in the world can’t compensate for having the wrong mindset when it comes to its application. Consider the attitude of a carpenter. The same tools can be used to build something of high quality or something that will fall apart with uneven edges. It all depends on the attitude and commitment to a job well done on the part of the craftsman. Every DIY-er faces the choice to follow instructions or wing it on their own instincts—and most who examine the results will be able to tell the difference in the results. An attitude that strives for excellence makes the most of every tool, simple or complex.
Tools + Discipline
When you find the right tool for the job, add the necessary knowledge and the right attitude, success still depends on discipline. Why? Most long-lasting success isn’t achieved overnight. It’s the result of many small disciplines applied consistently over time. Coaches know that skills, knowledge and attitude are only part of what it takes to make a great athlete, much less a great team. The “fundamentals” in any sport take practice, practice, practice. The same can be said of professional success. Discipline and consistency win in the long run, well, most of the time.
Though I started as a salesman with IBM back in the mainframe era, I’ve spent the majority of my career in software development. Even though I’ve worked to bring the best tools for relationship management to the market, I don’t believe a tool alone is the answer for any problem. Tools, great tools even, require something on the part of the user. The best results are achieved when a powerful tool is combined with knowledge, attitude, and discipline on the part of the practitioner. Take my latest creation, Vipor CRM, for instance. Downloading the app and even importing contacts and calendars won’t do much to enhance a user’s relationships. However, if a user knows the importance of establishing emotional connections with potential clients or business partners, aims for excellence in their interactions and has the discipline to follow through on their commitments, Vipor can be the most valuable tool in their business.
A tool is like a New Year’s Resolution. Making a resolution doesn’t mean you will be successful. It’s only a starting place. Don’t fall into the trap that the right tool is the answer. When you find a great tool, make the most of it by applying the knowledge, attitude and discipline that bring you closer to achieving your goals.