It’s Great to See You, Now Leave Me Alone: Building Better Business Relationships

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We are all busy people. Between work, family, and the constant demands of modern living, it seems we are in a perpetual, mad scramble to get things done. It’s hard to keep on track or even pay attention to everything that is going on around us.

It seems that everyone is vying for our attention; marketers, friends, business associates, etc… In many ways, we have become de-sensitized to the noise and static of business communications.

These facts run counter to a lot of the business communication philosophies that are out there; the ones that say the more you interact with someone, the better. In a recent article from the Harvard Business Review, they discuss the myths that surround the question of what customers really want. http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/05/three_myths_about_customer_eng.html

The 3 myths are all related to marketing and customer interactions:

  • Most consumers want to have a relationship with your brand
  • Interactions build relationships
  • The more interaction the better.

These myths extend beyond just consumer preferences. They relate to all business relationships. When dealing with the question of what people can do differently to build better business relationships, the article notes,

“Instead of relentlessly demanding more consumer attention, treat the attention you do win as precious. Then ask yourself a simple question of any new marketing efforts: is this campaign/email/microsite/print ad/etc. going to reduce the cognitive overload consumers feel as they shop my category? If the answer is “no” or “not sure,” go back to the drawing board. When it comes to interacting with your customers, more isn’t better.”

So, the message is that the quality of your interactions trumps quantity every time. Everyone’s time is short and valuable. If you let people know that you cherish and respect the time that they spend with you, you will go a long way toward building a lasting relationship with them.

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