The CEO of one of our clients retired recently, and I heard both sides of an incredible story of partnership and friendship that was built up over many years of our companies working together. It was truly impressive and reminded me of a story.
My dad used to say, “You can count your real friends on one hand.” Today, kids add friends to their Facebook pages in an instant, because technology makes us think we can shortcut the process to making friends. This is not true.
One of biggest mistakes about building relationships is trying to build a rich experience to win people over very quickly by using technology, and for those people with the greatest influence – I have called them the ‘one-percenters’ in the past – to share your message or story across their network so that it goes viral.
But in real life, and in business especially, relationships form via many lightweight interactions over a period of time, and usually with your customer getting to know the person first of all and gradually building trust.
So despite the speed of interactions that technology brings to the table, when you meet somebody for the first time and have a conversation, you are not suddenly best friends.