You have to build a relationship before you ask something of it!
We all need to reach out sometimes and ask for something. It might be for help, mentorship, a new contact or to do business. You are in effect taking something from somebody else. It might be a narrative, an item or money for a product or service – but you are still taking. You are asking for them to give something to you based on your current relationship status or lack of it. The giver has to agree based on that same status, and they will either say yes or no. Yes – if they want your money.
When I buy a product or service from somebody I generally feel more comfortable if I know them or their backstory. It’s much easier to give if there is a previous relationship built. If I buy a bar of chocolate or any other small consumable I’m not too concerned with the lack of back story. The product is the same in many locations, so I base my choice on price. However, when I buy an Apple product like a new iPad or iPhone I love the product and the whole Steve Jobs backstory, even though I was never fortunate enough to meet him. But they took the time to build the story and innovate around my needs (the customer). Now I feel like I’m part of the Apple family and I repeat my buying habits with them. I trust them. I’m hooked!
All too often this modern society takes without building the relationship first. If you are reaching out for help it’s much easier if you have built a relationship first based on what YOU can actually give, not on what YOU can take. Build the relationship on what you can give to them even before you even think about asking for something in return. If you are a business build the relationship with your customers, and DO NOT expect them to unconditionally buy from you based on the relationship you did not build. This article by Robert Cialdini talks about The Psychology of Persuasion. It’s well worth a read.
“You have to dig the well before you expect to drink from it”.
It’s that easy. Those people that give and help without expecting anything in return are normally rewarded with vast opportunities over their life-time.
And if you can apply this philosophy to your business and do not rush the relationships you build with your customers, then they will come to you based on integrity and service. Remember, they can get your product and service from anywhere. Build a relationship and they will stay, because they like you in addition to what you sell.
ON WEDNESDAY WE TALKS ABOUT: When your life is derailed