Wherever you are, relationships are about people … whether you’re B2B, B2C, or H2H (human to human, yep … it finally happened).
Desmond (we haven’t moved to ‘Des’ yet because he doesn’t even know I exist. He doesn’t know what he’s missing…!) … anyway, Desmond Morris wrote a book about human behaviour, more specifically his 12 step scale of human intimacy ... he’s a guy who 'knows his onions'
And then there’s Carol … who’s just been sent a connection request on Facebook by Harri. Harri’s a small business owner, a therapist in fact. What he doesn’t know is that Carol is also a small business owner. He doesn’t know this because he doesn’t know Carol … at all. Carol is a connection of one of his ‘connections’.
Carol’s wondering, ‘Who are you Harri? Should I recognise your name?’
She doesn’t have time to check him out, so she leaves his request, because after a few seconds his name still hasn’t rung any bells.
Then eventually, a few days later when she has more time, she reviews her Friend Requests list, sees Harri’s name again and that they have around 10 mutual friends. So now Carol’s saying to herself, ‘Hmm … who’s this Harri? I know we’ve never met, I don’t recognise his name … I don’t remember ‘liking’ any of his stuff either.’
Carol’s spot on … Harri’s a complete stranger, he hasn’t ‘liked’ her page, any of her posts on her personal or business page, in fact Harri’s never shown up ANYWHERE in Carol’s universe before this request.
But Carol’s feeling generous ... and as she can see Harri’s connected to lots of her friends, she says to herself, ‘Well Harri, I’ll take a chance, if my friends and connections have accepted you, you're probably ok.’ She presses confirm which is the equivalent of making a deposit in their relationship account.
... and within half a second of Carol accepting the request Harri goes and immediately asks her to like all of his business stuff, and has added her to his group.
Now here's what's happening ... It's like Carol, a stranger, has walked into a bar, and Harri has asked her to join the drinks round and has pinched her ass while he’s at it, or worse... which is the equivalent of Desmond's 1-10 in a nanosecond ... it's not ok.
Whether Harri realises it or not, what he’s just done is taken his second withdrawal when he hasn’t made any deposit. Initially Carol thought he was making an offer ... now she knows he’s asking for favours, without giving any value … As Desmond would probably say, without making an emotional investment. He's overdrawn.
Whether it's personal or business, we're human first. If you start by immediately asking for favours on first contact, or 'pinch someone’s ass', you can expect to get ignored or the equivalent of a 'slap in the face' ... depending on how far you’ve crossed the boundary. Basically, it's not going to happen. Carol’s never going to visit Harri’s page now … in fact she immediately unfriends him.
ANY request, to anyone is a withdrawal … check in with your emotional bank account. Ask yourself whether you’re trying to spend money you haven’t deposited? Kind and curious people are generous … but don’t take advantage, not if you want to build a relationship at least.
#BeHumanInBusiness ... you'll get more interest that way.
Clare Legge is an experienced coach and psychotherapist. Specialising in trauma, attachment, transitions and self-worth issues.