I’ve been having a lot of coffee lately. Not because I need a caffeine fix, but as a vehicle to meet with other people. The “let’s meet for coffee” kind of coffee. Which for me, it’s not even coffee at all. It’s Chai Tea. But that’s another story…
Over the course of all of these coffee meetings, it’s become increasingly apparent that marketing and growing a business is all about relationships. You could be the very best widget maker in the world, but if you have no one to sell those widgets to, all of your skill means nothing.
As we discuss in the What’s Your Avocado? concept, every person, every product and every business has something about them that’s special. That unique element is what we call your Avocado. What if you take this concept to heart and go into every meeting with the goal of finding one unique or special thing about the person sitting across from you? Find out if they love golf, or salmon fishing, or crocheting handbags, or live for babysitting their grandchildren. Find out that one buzz, that one sparkle that lives in everyone. And then build from there. Discover something wonderful about every person you meet. How captivating would every day be for you if you did just that one thing?
In terms of marketing, people do business with people they like. Sales is a relationship business. That is an absolute truth. I’ve seen clients pay vendors inordinate amounts of money for products they could have purchased cheaper from someone down the road, but because they liked that person they were willing to pay a bit more just to maintain the friendship. If this is true, if you develop a relationship with a person and they can, in any way, do business with you, you’re golden. You’ve created a mutually beneficial relationship. And if not, you just made a new friend. Either way, you’ve scored.
Life itself is a relationship business.
Short of living as a hermit in a cave somewhere in India, it’s nearly impossible to go through life without interacting with others. If we can make those interactions actually mean something, how much better would life be? So, I challenge you to connect with strangers today. Look a cashier in the eye and say “thank you.” Ask a personal question of a colleague and really care about the response. Conduct a business meeting with the goal of yes, selling something, but also making a deeper connection.
We all have something about us that’s special. Look for it in the people around you. You’ll be surprised by what you see.
Stacie Zinn Roberts is a nationally recognized, award-winning writer and marketing expert with more than 25 years of experience. She has won more than 40 national awards for her work including the United Nations Environmental Program for retail environmental marketing, as well as from organizations such at the Public Relations Society of America and the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. She’s written for industry publications such as Golf Course Management, Sports Turf, Golfdom and PR Daily. She spent eight years as the president and director of marketing for Environmental Turf, where she developed the branding for SeaDwarf Seashore Paspalum, the grass that eventually became the greens grass for the Rio Olympic Golf Course. Stacie served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Florida Turfgrass Association as Chair of the Research & Scholarship Committee where she worked closely with the scientists from the University of Florida’s turfgrass breeding program. Stacie founded What’s Your Avocado? Marketing & Public Relations in 2012.