There is something wrong with the world right now.
I know there is more than one thing… and that we all have our own challenges to go through.
But there is something about us that is crumbling, and if we don’t notice it in time, it’s going to be too late.
It’s about relationships. Any type of relationship.
Seriously. Any type.
The problem affects everyone.
It’s not a generational issue. It’s not a them vs us type of problem.
It’s a degenerative problem.
Hear me out, please…
Because we are all like that frog that got into a pot with nice lukewarm water… and as the temperature started to rise slowly, it didn’t notice the change soon enough before it got cooked.
We are so brilliant, and yet we turn a blind eye to the small daily decline in our ability to maintain a relationship.
And I have noticed that the problem that we’re facing right now with our close relationships is parallel to the relationship we have with our customers. (Read on, and I’ll tell you my reasons for saying so.)
At some point, we will get to the point of no return.
Maybe we’re already there.
But before that, let’s talk a little more seriously about what we are missing in our personal relationships that we have failed to care for.
We have failed to notice the distance.
We live in a world that is flooded with addictive games, soul-sucking notifications, endless social streams that are powered by ruthless algorithms, and all sorts of other digital and physical social distancing shitshows…
It’s a dystopian story in the making.
We are all now captives of our own declining ability to focus, to pay attention to each other, to look away from the screens.
We’ve become so distracted by the modern digital world that we have failed to notice that we are getting more and more withdrawn from other people.
We have been conditioned little by little to change our interactions until meaningful communication has vanished altogether.
Now we have forgotten how to look each other in the eye.
And how to hug.
Or hold hands.
We have forgotten how to listen.
In this world with its culture of distraction, we often turn a deaf ear to anything but our own worries.
You will be shocked by how many partners feel as though they don’t really talk to each other. The date shows a dismal situation.
We’ve forgotten how to ask the right questions –
The ones that bring us closer to each other.
We have forgotten what it means to connect.
We have forgotten that it’s hard work.
In the age of instant messages, speed deliveries, and instant access to almost anything we want, we are quick to get tired of anything that we can’t attain easily.
This instant culture makes us hesitant to put in the hard work.
We think that relationships, like everything else, will do the work for us.
Sustaining a relationship over years is not for the faint of heart.
It’s not something you can be lazy about, or you might lose it all together. Yes, we are only given these limited options.
Now, why did I say that our personal relationships are comparable to our business relationships?
Because just like personal relationships, there is a problem that you’re ignoring in your business – and that is making a meaningful connection with your clients.
And without such a connection, they are going to feel lonely.
Andrea Bonior, in her book “The Friendship Fix,” said that “In terms of mortality, loneliness is a killer.”
Loneliness affects personal relationships and business relationships with the same brutality.
If you don’t reconnect with your clients today, you are killing your business without realizing it.
We can still avoid that, starting by looking into what it is about relationships (both business and personal) that we are missing in today’s world…
Every single business owner keeps trying to find ways to penetrate the noise around people so that they will get noticed…
Instead of noticing that there is a much bigger hurdle in maintaining relationships with people that are already in your bubble.
The first step is awareness to the fact that business relationships are real. Your clients are real people and so are you.
Knowing that can help, influence and inspire.
Listening is one of the most powerful tools in a relationship.
And listening is about giving your undivided attention and addressing the other person’s needs and wants.
It starts by establishing habits of two sided communication with your clients. So you talk often and you listen often too.
Ask your clients questions but be truly curious about their answers. Listen to what they have to say as if your life depends on it.
When we share thoughts and respond to what makes us excited, that is how a strong relationship is built.
- Hard Work
More than the instant notifications, instant news and instant entertainment, we are also being sold instant success. Everywhere we go online, we are being fed social media ads where “you too can become a millionaire overnight – watch our webinar to find out how!”
This is a very dangerous thing, this addiction to instant gratification.
Like any relationship, business relationships are about meeting in the middle. That means it takes a lot of working together for each other’s benefit.
To maintain a relationship with your clients, you must put in the work every day to reach out and give value.
Think of a person swimming against the stream to get to his destination. It may be difficult and exhausting, but the rewards are ultimately satisfying.
So there you have it.
Look, I am not saying that I’ve got a solution or that I am innocent of these addictive habits.
It doesn’t matter who shouts first when a house is on fire, as long as we manage to handle this together in time.
The change has to start with us.
With noticing others. With being kind, passionate, generous, smart, persistent, humane, fun.
Remember when talking to each other was fun?
Remember when you were not pissed by the fact that your phone was ringing because someone on the other end just wanted to talk and nothing more?
These are the types of things that keep me awake at night.
This is what bothers me.
So do it now.
Start with sending daily emails to your clients, and it will make all the difference in your relationships and life. (And don’t just take my word for it. You can listen to this podcast, and I will tell you from my personal experience how daily emails have changed my life.)
Now it’s your turn. If you are reading this now, then comment if you want to prove me wrong. Tell me what you think and I will actually listen. Do it now, please.