8/03/2008

Do you have good contacts or do you have great connections?

How many people do you know who is continuously bragging about all the important contacts they have everywhere? “Oh I know Donald”, “He is a friend of a cousin of a friend of my cousin…yes we’re very close”. But when they get in touch with their famous “contact” he/she doesn’t really act like they know them.

And how many people do you know who might not really know a lot of celebrities or important business moguls, yet people always have their doors open for them?

What’s their secret? Where’s the difference between these two? I think we can find it in an old phrase I heard a while ago: “The important thing is not who you know, but rather who knows you”.

I mean, what good is to “know” someone of the likes of  the big business people, if they don’t really remember you?

I think the mistake that is often made by the people who brag about knowing or being friends with a celebrity is that they are only thinking about what they can get out of having that “contact”, mainly in the form and shape of an economical benefit or social status; and thus they are not thinking of how to establish a real connection with that PERSON, that is, with the real human being whom one cannot or should not plainly call a “contact”.

Now, the thing is that the only way to really create a connection with people, at least one that will establish a long term relationship, based on mutual trust and respect is by adding value to the other person’s life. That is, not wanting to get something from them, but on the contrary, wanting to give the other person what we have to share.

Maybe this kind of situation, even though it happen in all types of relationships, is more evident in the marketing and sales field.

In fact I think that it is precisely this huge mistake what has given such a bad reputation to being a sales man, no matter the industry they work in.

What I’m trying to say is, when the “contacterists” (for lack of a better Word) try to recurr to their “contacts” just to see what they can get our of them or how they can access their wallets and their budget, these so called “contacts” can smell their intentions a mile away. Maybe, if you are a “contacterist”, you will get them once or twice, or it might even be that they will once have a special consideration with you and grant you a purchase, but you can be sure of one thing, the next time you approach them with an easy sell, it will not be that easy at all, and your “contact” will have a whole lot more defensive attitude towards you.

Now, if on the contrary, before trying just to sell, you try to understand what the other party really does need and you put their interests before yours, specially in the client-vendor relationship, you will be silently telling them (with facts) “you can trust me, I really want to help you”. And if you do this with transparency and with no hidden agendas you will establish a real connection that will keep the other person’s doors always open for you and they will always be open to your recommendations and proposals, for they’ll know that you are thinking of them and not just in you sales quota.

 I guess we could say that a sales rookie will get contacts, a real professional will establish connections.

2 comentarios:

Janine dijo...

I love the way you've defined the difference between a contact and a connection. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Efraín Mendicuti dijo...

Thank you Janine! I look forward to reading your thoughts on them as well!

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The comments, opinions and recommendations posted in this personal blog are my personal thoughts, and doesn't necesarily reflect those of my employer.