Sunday, February 20, 2011

High-Touch to No-Touch

Last week I attended a conference for Chamber Professionals.  One of the speakers talked about the trend of going from High-Touch to No-Touch in terms of the way we handle our relationships.  He used an example of going to the movies.  It used to be a fun, family time to go to the movies.  We would see people we knew and have face-to-face conversations about what we liked or disliked about the movie with the other people who were there.

Then came Blockbuster.  We no longer had to talk to anyone except the clerk.  We rented the movie and took it home to watch it with just family and maybe a few friends.

Now there is Redbox and Netflix.  We can just get our movie out of a vending machine or mailbox and not have to have a verbal conversation with anyone.

In today's world of fast and easy, Redbox and Netflix may seem like wonderful benefits, but how much benefit is there if you haven't built loving relationships with people?  Yes, I used the word loving.  It isn't a bad word.  If you building loving, caring relationships with people, and are genuine about what's going on in their lives, they will build a relationship with you and will trust you.

What happens when people begin to trust you?  They do business with you. 

When is the last time you attended a networking event and asked someone not what they did for a living, but why they chose to do whatever it is they are doing?  By asking the why question, you are asking them to tell their story.  You have then made it about them and not about you.  And when you continue to make it about them and not you, you will begin the building process of a long-term relationship. 

And isn't that what we ultimately strive for - long-term clients?

On your next call or event, take the first five minutes and ask the why question.  I would love to hear the results.

1 comment:

Sean M. Carpenter said...

Excellent posty Cheri. We all want to move to quick, get our information five minutes ago and don't seem to have time to "smell the roses." Some of the best advice I have received from a friend of my who is a national speaker was - "Never act like you're in a hurry when you're not."

Sometimes we just need to slow down, make eye contact, and do our best to build a relationship.