My question, ‘do you build relationships with strangers’ may sound odd, but it does have merits of its own, particularly for growing business. Confirming the idea, I saw a sign today that suggests we focus on three elements: mind, body, and possibilities. Upon wondering if the upfront question has merit, the word, ‘possibilities’ is a compelling reason to reconsider.
Over the holiday, friends asked that I share my initial experience in the corporate sales environment and how I could survive. My claim to fame began with my striving to build relationships with strangers.
It was in the ‘olden days’ of cold calling in territories. I made friends with the receptionists, the guards with guns, and the people in the basement.
How many other people do you know who were or are today willing to make friends with people who answer the phone or who are assistants to executives?
Building relationships with strangers is the differentiator for gaining insights and access to the executive suite. Meanwhile, we receive a friendly welcome every time we connect, whether by Zoom, phone, or in-person. The same applies to wherever we may be. A friendly approach in a store, a networking event, or a conference with those unfamiliar will open potential doors. The only requirement is that we wear a smile so that people can hear it in our voice.
So how will people hear a friendly tone in our voice? Increasing our energy before a meeting or call; exercise works well. As we prepare to expand our enthusiasm, focusing on our desired outcome will bring a smile and a higher energy level. Altogether, we sound happily enthusiastic, and it resonates with those we contact.
It is never a waste of time to hear someone’s story and potentially offer help. The listening provides insights into what they view as important. Should the person be associated with the executive suite, they may convey insights about the people who hold office in the suite and the particulars about how they work. By building relationships with strangers, we can become comfortable doing the same within companies to grow a more robust clientele.
Practice using a friendly style of conversation is always in front of us. Should we see, someone attempting to lift something heavy, an offer of help will go a long way. Checking in for a personal appointment can be excellent practice. Simply thanking someone for their help will brighten the person’s day. It is the professional, friendly approach that will influence people to help us achieve our goals.
One word of caution is that many people lose their grounding by not having the confidence to achieve their goals or set insignificant ones. Coming full circle, we always keep possibilities at the forefront of our minds and use self-pep talks to achieve anything we desire.
The practice of combining mind, body, and possibilities that differentiates the successful.