Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Relationship Marketing

I heard the oddest piece of advice yesterday in regards to office politics. The advice was: "Don't worry about it." It was an awfully simple thing to say but perhaps the most true.

There should be a large distinction between using tact in your business relationships and worrying too much about your reputation because the latter can create too much distance and perhaps mar the quality of those relationships. Too often, we think too much about the money at stake and this can create barriers in developing strong, authentic relationships that build for example, your customers' loyalty to you and your brand.

The same goes for networks. If you're at a networking event, it's better to stay positive, exhibit confidence and show interest in both your specialty and shared interests with your counterparts. In other words, be your best self and don't worry so much about what other people think.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately because when I was in Montréal, Quebec, people in general seemed to converse more naturally than we do in Silicon Valley. They are less distracted by Blackberrys and a glass of wine and good food is enough to inspire conversation. Again, I know I am generalizing, but what I've learned from Montrealites is that they don't acknowledge you as a business contact or a social contact but simply they acknowledge you as a person and stay self aware of the subjects of conversation.

Before I start to lose focus on all this, it is food for thought. We have a lot to learn from a traditional culture that still values face-to-face communication and interaction. When things revolve around money and politics, the world gets to be quite odd. So maybe that is why art and humanities exist in the world--so we can remember we are human beings after all.



1 comment:

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