I have two friends, we’ll call them Ben and Sven.

Ben sells insurance. I got a heart felt “I’ll give you money if you send me paying clients” email. And while I appreciate a good affiliate program, honestly, I’d be happy to send Ben business anyway. Ben has a product everyone HAS to buy, plus he’s a smart guy.

Sven is manufacturing a new product and emailed me about potential retailers for it. I’d be happy to send Sven business too because, while he has a product no one needs to buy, it’s a cool idea and he’s clearly working hard to do it well.

I get emails like this weekly but these two basically just coming out and asking for the thing we all dance around made me think.

How is what Ben and Sven doing not resonating with their customers? 

First off, we know what Ben and Sven want is very basic, even though their products, markets, and compensation related to it are totally different. They want money, sales, referrals, the good stuff.

But what do their customers want?

When in our lives do we get what we want right away?

We live in a give give give and you may eventually receive society.
And we have to be prepared for having a pay day a little later than we’d like to do this well.

Here are some things most customers want:
To understand what they are buying.
To have a personal interaction with the person selling it.
Know they are getting a great product for a great price.

But above all, to feel any of this, they need some kind of relationship with Ben or Sven to buy their stuff. And whether that relationship begins online or not, it needs to begin and build before people start throwing money at you.

I get what all of us business owners want: money.

But what do we need? Before we get the money, we need to build rapport.

What does this look like? Depending on what you do and what kind of person you are, building rapport can mean:

  • Going to trade shows
  • Going to networking events
  • Giving presentations
  • Making how-to videos
  • Doing in home demos
  • Donating toward a cause
  • Partnering with a non-profit or complimentary business on something
  • Holding an event
  • Writing a blog
  • Giving an online course
  • Hanging on for a certain amount of time in an industry
  • Aligning yourself with a business/organization with a lot of credibility
  • Writing a book
  • Being a part of a news story or other ‘earned media’
  • Making friends
  • Taking a class
  • Doing interviews
  • Letting people try your product
  • Asking for reviews/feedback and acting on it
  • Making phone calls

Notice how some of the stuff on this list doesn’t cost much money.
Notice equally how most of the stuff in this list does take time.
And a certain amount of building rapport is letting time pass as you do these things (not just one, several… maybe even a little bit of everything).

So we want money, but we need to build rapport. I know, it’s annoying but we have to!

How are you currently building rapport with your business?

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