The one thing I vividly recall was the oiled wooden floor that smelled so clean when I opened the door. The thing I remember most after stepping inside was the gumball machine. That machine was sitting in exactly the right spot for youngsters like me to spot the moment we entered.
To what do these childhood memories pertain? The “filling station” owned by my Dad and his partner Bud Stewart. Filling stations is an old fashioned name for what we now call gas stations. My Dad’s featured a large replica of the Flying Red Horse logo from Mobil Oil and a single bay for automobile repairs, tires, etc. In fact, the name – TAGO was an acronym standing for Tires, Accessories, Gas and Oil.
I don’t remember if Bud and Dad had business cards or not. I do know that they had a very large and loyal clientele. Not because folks were committed to Mobil Oil; but because the two men were known for their honesty, integrity and outstanding customer service. The scuttlebutt around town was that if you wanted quality service at a fair price from two great fellows; you did business with Herm and Bud. My Dad had an outgoing personality with an awesome sense of humor. Bud was viewed as quiet which belied a very dry sense of humor. They were an awesome partnership.
I’ve talked about my Dad’s early business on several occasions via a blog. I do so again today because their’s was an old-fashioned business that did not have the benefit of modern technology. Nor did they have a great deal of knowledge in marketing and sales.
They just did what came naturally to both of them. They were men of strong character with a solid value system based on strong personal and business ethics and morals. They were no different in business life as they were in their personal lives.
And they were natural relationship-building folks! No one had to tell them that first you build the relationship; then you seek to do business with the people in those relationships.
The title of this post is “Old Fashioned Business In A Modern Age”. While I don’t regret the modern conveniences we as women in micro-businesses have to build our businesses; I do regret that we’ve lost much of the old-fashioned ways of doing so.
Yet the modern age with instant access to folks from anywhere in the world who can be found via the internet, is not so far from the ways my Dad and Bud did business in the mid 1900’s. In fact, the power of the internet simply expands our ability to do business in the same way – but on steroids! Dad and Bud had access to those living in our county and their friends from neighboring counties. We, on the other hand, have access to the world – literally!
In reality the only difference between old-fashioned business and the modern age is the size of the potential audience. TWEET THIS. Everything else remains the same!
I’ve said it before – I’ll say it again. And I’ll keep repeating it until women in any size business get it. It’s all about the relationship! It’s about building a relationship with others first.
And giving the relationship time to ‘cure’. In other words, time to grow to one of mutual trust and a strong sense of each other’s personal integrity and honesty! Yes it’s a fact that people do business with those they know-like-trust. But for the most part, we pay lip service to that and move right in for the kill! The sale that is.
A few days ago I got a blatant sales pitch via FB private message. To my knowledge I don’t know the woman and am not sure how we happen to be “friends” on Facebook. No introduction to give me a clue how we might know each other; just a pitch with telephone number to call. I was furious! I have since unfriended and blocked her – that’s how irritated I am with such rudeness.
And rude it is!
The unvarnished truth is that “old-fashioned” relationship building never went out of vogue. It’s as much an “in” thing today as it was in my Dad’s day. In fact, it’s more so. In social media, we may never meet face to face. For that reason alone; it’s the wisest course of action to get to know others first and build a level of trusting relationship before seeking them as a customer for our products or services. Here’s a couple of old-fashioned things to consider for your modern age business:
1. REACH OUT – begin conversations with others you are attracted to and want to get to know better. Use the other modern age technical tools such as telephone, Skype, Google Hangout, etc. to start the conversation flowing.
2. KNOW WHY – pure motivations will always shine through. Likewise, nefarious motivations will as well. If you go with only the intent of turning the connection into a customer; that will come out at some point and may turn the other off completely.
3. GO WITH THE FLOW – let your conversations flow as they will. When the relationship is securely formed; it may lead to having a new customer as well as a friend. But better yet – it may yield a series of highly qualified referrals which in the long run far surpass gaining only one customer.
4. HASTE MAKES WASTE – Don’t be in a hurry. Let the relationship grow at its own pace. Trying to make it something it’s not intended to be will only short circuit it before it can take root.
So that’s a few thoughts I have about applying old-fashioned business to our modern age. If you take nothing else from this; please take the fact that it’s truly about building relationships before you do anything else. On the journey to success; it’s relationships that will fill your pot of gold when you reach your desired destination.
Linda S. Fitzgerald, CEO & Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://affiliatedwomeninternational.com//wp-content/uploads/2015/05/linda-google-NB-profile-pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]
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