Business-Building Thoughts From Terry Brock
I opened the email that said I had won 35 MILLION DOLLARS (yes, the email used all caps for that screaming at me effect!). It was about a lost bank account and they just wanted me — because I’m an honest person, of course —- to help them transfer it to my bank account. It was signed by some important-sounding guy with a fancy title in Nigeria.
Maybe you’re familiar with this Nigerian gentleman.
It has now become an old joke in the Internet community about the guy from Nigeria who is offering huge money to unsuspecting Internet users. In Lagos and other cities in Nigeria they call this 419 and they don’t mean an area code in Ohio. This is the section in their law referring to this type of scam.
The saddest part is that there are still some people who open this email, believe it and send their bank account numbers to these thieves hoping against hope that money will come to them because they are a nice person who can be trusted.
Most of us have realized you don’t even want to answer these notices as they only create havoc. It is better to ignore and exercise your God-given, Thomas Jefferson-sanctioned right to use that wonderful delete key on the keyboard.
Yet, I’m seeing similar behavior on Social Networking sites. Only this time, instead of asking for your bank account number, they want to take your precious time, perhaps some money and lots of your effort that you should devote to building your own business relationships.
Recently I spoke with a friend about a mutual connection we had here in town. I’ll call this connection Arnold (not his real name). It seems that Arnold is regularly trying to do the social networking thing connecting with everyone he meets, friending them (boy, have we desecrated that word!), and linking to them on all the various social networking sites. My friend commented that she had the same experience with Arnold as the pushy salesman trying to force his way on everyone. Arnold has developed a reputation for taking advantage of Social Networking (both online and offline) and just pushing his stuff on others.
Arnold! We have work to do and don’t really care about you if you don’t show that you care about us!
See, Arnold never takes the time to find out what the other person is doing. He is not interested in showing concern for them. He is only interested in selling his stuff. This is what others have said and his reputation continues to suffer. I’m sure you’ve met some Arnolds along your own journey.
The principles of Relationship Marketing require that you start a relationship by genuinely caring for and paying attention to the needs of others. When someone is only interested in getting thousands and thousands of followers or friends through anonymous people that is not a high-level relationship. It is a way to begin a relationship and is perfectly legitimate much like reading a Blog or watching the YouTube channel of someone you admire. You begin a relationship at that level and then build from there.
The key is to focus on how you can help and provide value. I’m sure that the Arnolds of the world have some good products. Hey, I also admire their tenacity. They just need to do it the right way. That means getting to know someone as a person before you insist they come to your place and see all you are doing with your stuff.
Focus on the needs of the others and how you can help them. Build quality relationships for business by being authentic and genuinely caring for others. Then as we see complimentary needs and can help each other we’ll be happy and delighted to do business with real friends (in the time-honored sense of that word).
Find something specifically where you can help them build their business. That is one of the best ways to cultivate and nurture a genuine relationship. This is the key to long-lasting, value-for-value relationships.
Successful Relationship Marketing is a process. You can’t rush it. It takes time, money and effort to cultivate the best relationships. Just like in farming, you plant the seeds, nurture the crops and help them grow. You can’t rush it. Become more of a Relationship Farmer and you’ll enjoy a bountiful harvest.
Doing this will help the Arnolds of the world avoid a reputation of being the Social Networking version of that guy from Nigeria with the 35 MILLION DOLLARS (I guess you have to capitalize it for the effect, huh?).
Copyright @ 2009, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc. Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and professional speaker who helps businesses generate profitable results. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.terrybrock.com. Join the Twitter adventure with Terry through his Twitter address: TerryBrock.