The Flight To Quality

business people walking with briefcases


Tough markets bring out the best in us all.

It’s happening again! It happens every time there is a disruption in the market. Buyers and sellers flee to quality. They want sales associates with smarts, experience, and systems. Sales associates want companies with leadership, marketing, technology, and brand. Top associates build their business during times of chaos. Top companies grow market share. Tough markets bring out the best in both.

When you ask the highest producers and best companies in our industry why they’re so good at what they do, they’ll tell you it’s because they do the basics better than anybody. Call them basics or fundamentals. I call them universals—the things that are important universally. Universals are the backbone of creating a strong foundation for your business. Universals work in any market.

Focus on Relationships

The most common universal among high-performing individuals and organizations is a focus on relationships. Why? Relationships endure regardless of the market. In times of uncertainty, such as the COVID-19 crisis, having a foundation of strong, well-nurtured relationships can mean the difference between still being in business or not.

Relationships are a durable competitive advantage. They give you predictable results in every kind of market–especially tough markets. Your relationships with your sales associates and their relation-ships with their clients are your most valuable assets. Do you have a system for building and nurturing them?

Frequency of Interaction

Whether with your clients or your kids, relationships are built and maintained through the “frequency of interaction.” We call it flow. Live-flow is face-to-face and voice-to-voice interaction. Auto-flow is through mail, email, text, and social media. In hot markets, it’s easy to get busy and fall out of flow. It’s easy to chase leads and transactions and worry about relationships later. What happens when the market softens? There is a price to be paid for neglecting your relationships.

In times of uncertainty, people turn to the professionals they know (are in flow with) and trust to deliver the goods. The key is to have a system that keeps you in flow with clients and associates in all markets. When a tough market hits, it’s too late to start building relationships. Dig your well before you are thirsty.


Do your associates have a system that keeps them in flow with their clients? Just as importantly, do you have a flow system to build and maintain your relationships with your sales associates? If you’re looking for guidance in building flow systems, check out Win the Race to Be Top of Mind in the April REAL Trends newsletter. Top sales professionals and top companies have these systems in place. In this market, they’re paying big dividends.

Having the universals of strong relationships and systems that deliver predictable results in all kinds of markets does three things for your organization:

  1. You survive and thrive in the downturns. Your people build their business, and your company builds market share.
  2. You provide certainty to your people in an uncertain time. You have systems that produce predictable results regardless of the market. Strengthening an individual’s sense of confidence and control is a fundamental of great leadership.
  3. You build a great culture. As Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for lunch.”

Keep your universals as your top priority. Focus on building relationships, implementing systems that give predictable results, providing certainty, and creating an invaluable culture. Then, prepare for the flight to quality as you attract and keep the best associates and clients.


This article originally appeared in the July 2020 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter. It is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends, Inc. Copyright © 2020. To read the rest of this issue & more, please visit our Real Trends page online.


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