“An event does not a relationship make“! Yet most of us are told that if we participate in this or that event; we’ll “build relationships”. Hogwash. . .
So okay, Fitzgerald, what set you off on this tangent today? Well, I just read post after post on social media telling folks that if they sign up for this or that event – they’ll build relationships. Nothing is further from the truth, and doing so irritates my skin. Thus a word on the matter!
Relationships – of the real kind – take time. They are not made over a table at an event. If enough time permits for some conversation and an emotional connection is made – over and above the thought of business – then the possibility of a relationship may be the benefit from such events.
With the advent of social media and the possibility of making connections across space and time, we’ve been lulled into thinking that a connection equals a “relationship”. It doesn’t. What it does do is permit us the opportunity to get to know more about each other; learn where the emotional connections are (or are not) so that each of us can choose to pursue building a relationship.
The key word in the phrase “building a relationship” is building! Essence of the word says a relationship may be in progress! TWEET THIS
Every relationship that we build in life has an emotional component. First we encounter the other. That encounter may last a second or a lifetime. We’re not likely to begin a relationship with the person behind us at Starbucks unless time permits for some meaningful conversation. But if we meet that person several times at Starbucks – then a real possibility exists to engage each other to ‘get acquainted’.
Relationships form because a deeper connection is made – I call it “the embrace“. And such occurs at a deep level when something about the other – their lives, their stories – connect with ours. It’s at a psycho-emotional-spiritual level about which we may have little to no understanding. How many times have you said (or heard someone say). . .
“I don’t know what it is, but we just ‘clicked’!” TWEET THIS
At this point, real relationship-development has taken place! We may not physically embrace, but we have done so psychologically, emotionally – even spiritually!
Okay, so what you might say. “What’s that have to do with business – my business? I’m a woman in a small business that I want to grow so why is this important to me?”
It’s important because people do business with those they ‘know, like and trust’. And liking, knowing and trusting is not built in a moment over an event table. Know, like and trust relationships may start there – but they are not “built” there!
I love the direct sales-network marketing corporate structure. I happen to think it has a Biblical base – the multiplication of loaves and fishes routine. What I don’t love – even like – is the hype that goes into bringing folks on board and the spreading of the delusion that product so and so will “sell itself”. It won’t!
I also don’t like the concept many in the industry spread abroad that we build a relationship when we spend boo-coo bucks running from event to event – or meeting to meeting – to “build relationship”! We run from event to event – meeting to meeting – to do business. We need to stop fooling ourselves – worse yet gullible others – that we’re spending oodles of $$$ to build a relationship!
We’re developing leads. Yes, my dear women friends in business – that’s what we’re doing. We also might have the slight chance of meeting someone with whom we have enough time and conversation that inspires us to seek a longer time and more conversation – outside the event!
So how can this minor ‘rant’ be helpful to you as a woman building a small business – whether direct sales or not? Hopefully by first tellin’ yourself the truth! Then using the truth to guide you in the choices you make about where and how to spend the precious marketing $$$ you have.
Then you’ll be able to make wise choices and give up the illusion that you do so to build relationships! Truth is you hope those who stop by your table will find something about you as a woman that inspires them to want to get to know you better. And you are inspired in the same way.
At that point, the two (three, four or more) can go about the business of ‘building’ relationships. Over time and once you’ve come to the point of an embrace where know, like and trust is occurring!
End of rant. . .
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Empowering Women to Thrive
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-1/p160x160/10933880_10152999878054264_1749306739390848122_n.jpg?oh=3b9b3e144f0b306aa0cc748b03d9dd6a&oe=55550352&__gda__=1432002183_d9a5e0b3a35fc3cfbbe66ed7bc7658c9[/author_image] [author_info]My passion is 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]