Sunday, November 30, 2008

Personal connections — Relational business-building

Earlier today a friend of mine was talking about her son’s decision about which college to attend. I paid close attention because my oldest daughter is about to go through the same process.

Seems my friend and her son visited three schools. There were a number of reasons behind his choice, but one of the biggest was the visit to that school.

During the visit the school representative went out of his way to make them feel welcome. The prospective students had to fill out a piece of paper with their name and hometown. During his presentation, the school official recognized each student and said something to personally connect with him.

My friend was impressed. She said that if she would have been making the decision, she would have chosen the same school.

That’s how we act in our businesses. Each time we meet someone, we should try to connect with him or her on a personal level. Moreover, we should do that not just because they might be a prospect for our business, but because we want to get to know them.

If you try to connect with them while thinking about the possibility of them joining your business, the connection will likely feel fake to them. That’s not surprising, because it will be fake.

Next time you meet someone, try to be their friend before you try to make them your business partner.

Steve DeVane

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