As human beings we are wired to connect. Our social connections are as important to us as the food we eat and the air we breathe. That’s why harsh words from a friend hurt as much as a slap in the face; we are dependent on connections if we want to survive. The world of business is no exception.
The digital revolution had already happened when the pandemic hit, but it’s fair to say that Covid-19 took it to another level. Communication had already been established online, conversations were happening over text messages, in chat boxes, over various apps and social media platforms. Friendships, flings and deeper connections were developing at a high rate between people before they had even met in person.
FaceTime, Zoom and Skype had made meetings possible without having to leave one’s house or office. But when the lockdown of 2020 hit, these mediums of communication weren’t longer just possible, they were mandatory – in fact, they were the only way of connecting.
Not being able to meet a client face to face for lunch does not have to be the end of your contract. In fact, most people born after 1986 would tell you that they have “close friends” that they’ve never met irl. The world is changing but our desire to connect remains the same. We just do it over phones, pads and laptops these days. The digital revolution has given us more subtle ways to reach out, which can be a benefit when trying to get into someone’s good book. A “like”, comment or Facebook message is a lot less intrusive than a telephone call, after all.
When it comes to your business, you need to know what is the horse and what is the cart.
The horse is the relationship. The cart is the deal. People do deals with people they like, trust and respect. You cannot skip that part and move straight on to the deal. Not even when someone comes to your first and wants to work with you, or buy from you.
The back-and-forth of trust building still needs to happen. In fact, if I’d put a percentage on it, I’d say that you need to put 80% into your communication, showing them that you are there for them and what you would do for them. And the 20% into closing the deal. The deal is the natural fall-out of the trust you have built.
Read more about trust-building here: