Developing Business Relationships

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Oct 19

By Michael Walsh

Don’t Spill Your Candy in the Hallway!

Have you ever been in a gymnasium full of young kids who are waiting on the appearance of Santa Claus? It’s quite an experience! The energy in the room is just electric. You can just feel the anticipation. Then, someone hears some bells from outside the door. They seem to be getting louder, and then a very deep and jolly voice starts chanting "Ho Ho Ho!"

Like many, I have been witness to a number of these events over the years. There were two specific incidents however, that really stick out in my mind. One was tragic and the other, masterful.

Oops!

Santa arrived with much fanfare – only to trip outside the gym door! His bag of candy canes filled the floor in the hallway. A few kids seeing this, quickly scrambled out the door to grab the candy.
Immediately all of the children had scurried out and had filled their fists with the good stuff.

After that, Santa had very little appeal to the children. They had gotten what they wanted him to provide, so their interest in jolly old St. Nick evaporated — just like that!

Mastery in Action

At another event, I was fortunate enough to witness an experienced Santa. Not only did he manage to get through the doors of the gym unscathed, but he really put on a show for the kids.

He would look into his bag, and then back at a little boy. Then back into his bag his eyes would gaze, and then once again to the anxious child. Then, slowly, he would reach his hand into his bundle, and after shuffling things around in there for what appeared to be an excruciating length of time, he would pull out a piece of… candy! His eyes would open wide with excitement as he handed the treat to the little tot, whose own excitement was just about to explode.

Then on to the next child he would go, repeating the whole escapade to the immense delight of all. I have to say, I was so impressed at how well a Santa could generate so much excitement, and genuine happiness and satisfaction from a whole room full of children with little pieces of candy.

How does this apply to sales and customer acquisition?

I have seen over and over again, situations where people will "spill their candy in the hallway". They go on and on about their stuff and spill all the good stuff prematurely, robbing their customers of the opportunity to build a relationship sufficient to do business.

Too much too soon is not a good thing. Too much in one direction is not a good thing. There has to be an interaction in order to build connection. As Voltaire said, “The secret of being a bore is to tell everything."

As a business professional ask yourself: "What business am I in?"
If your business has anything to do with people, you are at least partly in the business of building relationships.

Some people think that they are in the business of selling. Really, they are in the business of building relationships, because that’s the basis of how you sell things. Managers are also in the business of building relationships, because that’s how you turn talent into performance.

How do you build a relationship? The best way is to know it’s all about them. You move your curious lever to maximum and find out what’s important to people. Then how can you setup success for them?

To build trust, share ideas and connections that help people. When you meet somebody, give them something educational that they can use, whether they buy or not. Just as important is to reach out and connect with people. Opportunities to make new contacts and connections are all around you. Make the effort and reap the rewards!

Source: business relationships

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