Are you on Facebook? I recently received a friend request on Facebook from a woman with whom I had 27 mutual connections. After a quick look at her page, decided to accept the request. Within a short time she sent me an email to introduce herself, her product and a link to her website to look at the complete catalog. I’m all about making connections and enjoy the role social media plays in bringing you together with people you might otherwise not have the chance to meet in person. It’s also a terrific way to enhance existing relationships outside of typical networking events. What I don’t like is someone immediately trying to sell you on their product or service when you know very little about them.
In my frustration I made a post on my wall which said: To my facebook friends, please don’t connect with me and then immediately start marketing your product/service. If you feel the need, you may want to re-think your strategy.
The comments started immediately so it appears this is a regular occurrence. I’ll admit in years past I was guilty of going for the immediate ‘sell’ and realized I wasn’t making the right connections for the right reasons. Thank goodness for folks like Bob Burg who showed me how to cultivate win-win relationships. If you’re not familiar with Bob, he’s the best selling co-author of The Go-Giver and Go-Givers Sell More.
Selling is not at its core a business transaction; it is first and foremost the forging of a human connection.
As you’ll read in the book, it’s far more productive (and satisfying) when salespeople think like Go-Givers. Cultivate a trusting relationship and focus exclusively on creating value for the other person, say the authors, and great results will follow automatically.
No matter if you’re ‘friending’ someone on Facebook, connecting on LinkedIn or meeting at a networking event, always focus on adding value first.