Slow Down, We Just Met
Imagine meeting someone for the first time and within five minutes they’ve asked you if they can move into your house, form a partnership, or requested access to your banking information. Would you be tempted to say yes to any of these requests? What if they were willing to do the same for you? Would that sway your decision? I’m hoping your response is “Of course not to either option!”
People who meet me for the first time and request what I consider to be earned opportunities cause me to be extra cautious around them. It actually turns me off of wanting to get to know the person better. I start to wonder what they might want from me next. And relationships that start off by someone feeling used are not likely to develop into anything long term.
What Impression Are You Making
Recently while attending an event I was having a conversation with a former client. There was a woman close by listening to our conversation. When my former client asked me where I would be speaking over the next few months, the woman jumped in to let me know she was also a speaker. She then proceeded to suggest that we start referring speaking opportunities to each other.
I hadn’t even had five minutes of conversation with this woman before she was suggesting that we each put our reputations on the line to recommend the other. She didn’t even know the topic I speak on or if I’m even a good enough speaker to recommend. And of course, I don’t know any of these things about her either.
My initial impression is that we do not share the same values. I am selective about who I recommend/refer. My reputation is important to me and I only recommend/refer people who I know will do an exceptional job.
It’s your job to earn business and it’s also your job to earn and develop relationships that allow for referrals/recommendations. Acting as if it’s ok to ask someone you just met to recommend you is the equivalent of asking that person for access to their bank account. It’s unrealistic and frankly it comes off as either inexperienced or desperate.
If you’re unwilling or unable to put in the time needed to build relationships and ultimately build trust with people you might need to rethink being a business owner. Maybe you’d be better off in a supporting role of someone else’s business.
It would have been so much more effective if this woman had asked if I would be open to scheduling a call to get to know each other. Just like how I teach that there are steps in the selling process (check out The Selling Staircase for these steps) and you can’t skip steps and expect to earn someone’s business, the same is true for relationship building.
Wising you continued success in all your relationship building activities.