Episode #312: Zvi Band – How To Leverage The Power Of Your Relationships

Zvi Band is the co-founder & CEO of Contactually, the top CRM which empowers professionals in real estate, consulting, and other professional industries to build authentic relationships. Having founded Contactually in 2011, Zvi has led Contactually to $12M in venture backing, 75 employees, and tens of thousands of customers, including 8 of the top 20 real estate brokerages in the country. An engineer, a seasoned entrepreneur, developer, strategist and startup advisor, with unique both technical and non-technical operations. Thrice named a Washingtonian Tech Titan, featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and Washington City Paper, Zvi was also a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Zvi is a passionate speaker and author whose writing has appeared in Forbes, Inc, Inman News, and many other outlets. He’s the author of the newly released book, Success Is In Your Sphere.  Published by McGraw-Hill (Zvi and I share the same agent, publisher, and editor).

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“It’s not about staying in touch.  It’s about being of value.”

Show Notes:

  • Leaders who sustain excellence =
    • They have a level of introspection
      • This creates self-awareness and mindfulness
      • Take a step back… Analyze, pick apart.  Understand why something happened based on the decisions you made
    • They are tactical
      • 5×7 notepad — Take blank sheet and write the exact things you need to do each day
      • Weekly wrap up — Capture what happened
      • Use a daily journal to understand how you felt at that moment
  • “It’s way too easy to be reactionary.”  It’s not productive.  Be thoughtful and intentional
  • Zvi at 25 years old:
    • Quit his job
    • His dad’s cancer came back and he died
    • The same day was officially declared a recession in 2008
  • How to respond?
    • Zvi was interested in a startup
      • “I emailed my network, and the CTO of an enterprise software company helped me out”
      • “Relationships are our most important asset”
    • Zvi realized he wasn’t good at managing his relationships.  He was using Evernote.
    • He wanted a proactive CRM (customer relationship management) tool to proactively work for the relationship driven professional
    • That was how Contactually was created
      • “It’s not about staying in touch.  It’s about being of value.”
  • How to make the right hiring decisions:
    • It’s values based:
      • Be user first – solve problems for others
      • Ownership – entrepreneur types
      • Learn & innovate – embrace failure and learn
        • Demonstrate the ability to learn
      • Be excellent with each other — “If a company has a named ‘No Asshole’ rules then that usually means they have a lot of assholes there.”  It’s a red flag.
      • Keep it simple
      • Be real — Transparent
  • How does someone demonstrate the ability to learn?
    • Run a mock call, give feedback.  They must be coachable.  How do they respond to the coaching?
    • Ask, ‘what are you learning?
    • We want readers
    • We want people who are intellectually curious
    • We want people who have a “general dissatisfaction with their current skill set.”
  • Mentor advice:
    • Leverage your experience to know the right questions to ask.
    • Teach them how to navigate the issues, don’t just give them the answers.
    • “Relay experience.  Don’t give advice.”  Don’t give a prescription.
  • Mentee advice:
    • Establish a feedback loop
    • Establish what to do — follow up
    • “Must show that you took their insights to heart and acted on them.”
  • The ‘icky’ feeling of relationship marketing:
    • Avoid this.  Don’t just exchange business cards.
    • “Relationships are our most important asset.”
    • Collect intelligence on those people important to you.  Listen for the little details they share.  Pay attention.  Take notes after you talk with them so you can ask about them later.
  • Consistency – Play the long game:
    • Create habits:  what are your relationship goals?
    • “We’re wired to think short term.”  Zag when others zig.  Think long term.
  • Build genuine, real relationships:
    • When we look back at success, we realize it’s because of relationships
    • Invest in them long term
  • Contactually got acquired by Compass
  • Zvi and his investors have been rewarded for their work

“Relay experience.  Don’t give advice.”

More Resources:

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303:  General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership