This morning I had breakfast with David Benjamin, one of my favorite high school friends. The last time we hung out was probably 23 years ago. Why, then, did we each allow an hour out of our busy days to reconnect?
Well, this time it happened to be about business. And because we had a history of liking each other and connecting, we had the generosity to listen to one another and explore the possibilities of working together.
David has become a social media expert in the years since we’ve been close. I see his name all over Twitter and Facebook. Social media is one area where I’d like to improve, both professionally and personally. And so our paths crossed and we met and he made suggestions and I am willing to jump on it because I know his character and his integrity.
It’s an easy sell, when you know someone well. Whatever his proposal says, I will go for it because I trust him as a person.
You see how much relationships matter?
When you’re pitching someone you don’t know, why on earth would they say yes? What is the convincing conversation or exhibit that you can present to sway them over to choose you?
This illustrates just how hard it is to sell to strangers. If your business doesn’t focus on building authentic relationships with your customers – or the people you hope will become your customers – then you’re going to keep treading water and believe me, that gets exhausting pretty fast.
I can’t wait to see the magic David can spin for me out of his talent. I know it in my bones. That’s the power of relationships.
And nothing else is a valid substitute.