Every day we meet with people. Some of these people we have never met before, and we may have met others previously. We have chance meetings on the street, in a coffee shop, or during grocery shopping; we engage in conversations with strangers frequently. We also engage with others with whom we have an ongoing relationship, a networking partnership.
There are all types of people in our universe, with more people coming and going in and out of our lives each and every day. From total strangers to long-term acquaintances, these people may include our friends, family, prospects, customers, clients, or former customers. We have varying impacts on their lives, and they have varying impacts on ours. We do not live in a vacuum; we cannot ignore the impact of these meetings.
How do we impact these people; how are we seen by these people as a result of these meetings? What type of impression do we make on others, even if during a one-time, short encounter? We must understand that our first impressions, as well as later ones, can make or break a networking partnership and can cost us customers, and referrals.
Are we interesting or are we interested? Do we try to “sell” those whom we meet, even on the first occasion, or do we ask questions that allow us to discover what the other person needs to succeed? Do we endeavor to help the other person make their business, or their personal life, better? Do we instead strive to make our own life better through trying to sell whatever we offer to everyone whom we meet in the first 5 minutes of the conversation?
How many of us follow the philosophy of making 100 phone calls each and every day to total strangers, attempting to drum up new business? How can we ever believe that anyone will buy from a total stranger who calls them out of the blue, touting products or services? Instead, wouldn’t they be more interested in the marketing of long-term networking partners who build relationships first?
Do we really believe that making phone calls to people who may have never heard of us, or our business, will result in increased sales? What happens if we don’t make all the (100) calls that we have been told to do each day? Maybe the prospects that we miss are involved with networking meetings where others inquire as to what will help their businesses actually prosper.
What is the impression that we leave with others? What do other people say about us to themselves, to their networking partners, after they have had a chance to converse with us? Do we really understand that we should be interested in the other person’s needs and not doing whatever we believe will line our pockets with sales figures?
Gratitude Marketing can make our meetings memorable in a great way with our networking partners, whether we meet with them once or we have multiple meetings over a longer time. People will do business with those that they know, like, and trust, and they will refer business to those same people. Total strangers working hard to “sell” will not succeed over the long haul.