A few days ago I got an email from a customer. I’ve known her for several years now, and have made gifts and favors for a few of her parties and showers. In this email she shared that she was expecting her first baby in the fall! I was so excited for her (squee!).
Later when I was telling my husband, I asked, “Is that weird? I know she’s a customer, but it almost feels like she’s a friend, too.”
He said, “No, it’s not weird, it’s Jerry Maguire!”
I had to laugh. And then I had to watch it again. I know it’s sappy (“you had me at hello”) but there’s something so sweet about it, too. And I do love the business messages, especially the brilliant, motivational moments with Jerry’s mentor, Dicky Fox. “Roll with the punches. Tomorrow is another day,” he says. And, “I LOVE getting up in the morning. I clap my hands and say ‘This is going to be a great day!'”
But my favorite is, “The key to this business is personal relationships.” I think lots of businesses are realizing that these days; it’s definitely true for my business, which is all about personalization. So I guess it’s not so strange that I feel this way about my customers…particularly ones I’ve known for years. You really do feel more like friends.
What do you think? Do you enjoy the personal interactions with companies that happen these days on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other places? (Did you know that you could visit my page at Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? I really like chatting with friends there.)
(You can read Jerry’s “mission statement” online, too. You can see why such a document would cause a stir in his company!)
I think you are absolutely right. Given a choice, most people would rather do business with someone they know, someone who is a friend rather than a stranger. People also want to feel like more than the next potential sale.
I agree with you and Charlene for sure. Relationships are life, and business relationships that also become friendly ones are frequently the best of all. Now that I’ve been in business over 11 years, I have experienced this many times over. It takes a little extra intention to manage a business-friend relationship well, but that just makes it more special and valuable. Thanks for sharing!
Definitely. It makes work that much more rewarding to feel that we know the people we’re working with! Thank you both for sharing your thoughts!
It feels more rewarding on my part. A lot of thanks to you.