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Blurred Lines: The NEW Relationship Rules in Business and How to Avoid a Price War.

Personal and professional boundaries are blurring. I guess sorta like the popularly, risqué song by Robin Thicke:

And that’s a good thing, because access to so much information makes price a big factor these days.  Relationships are the only way to prevent costs being the only decision factor.

 

Curious if you’ve ever thought about how well your clients actually know you?  Of course they know your company, maybe the school you attended?  But how much of a connection do you really share with them? On the flip side, how much do you know about them?

If you think can ignore this trend much longer maybe you should take a look at the “share-worthy” articles of the week like McKinsey & Company‘s We’re All Marketers Now and Forbes’ Everything We Knew About B2B Marketing Is Wrong  really got me thinking how social media and the almighty Google are changing the boundaries and accelerating the commoditization products and services.  The only remedy to prevent that price war is to BUILD meaningful relationships. For example, when I traveled to Iowa for the 3rd annual UPsummit, you can read more about the event here.   I met awesome connections like:

Lee Watson (@rleewatson), serial entrepreneur, under 30 mind you, who is trying to make Little Rock, Arkansas into an Big Data entrepreneurial hot bed.

And Susie Steiner (@SQQZY), Transportation executive turn recent mobile app entrepreneur trying to solve your Valet woes with the new Valet Boss.


Every single one of the connections I made in Iowa were all great additions my business network but during the conference I was able to build a more personal relationship.  I am sure festive beverages makes that part easier, but to be completely honest, social media is like the festive beverages at a conference.  You are able to follow people and learn more about people their interests, etc.  A simple google search can show more than a conversation over a cocktail can these days!  Hence why I would suggest that the personal and professional lines are blurring.

And it’s time to get on board!

Here are 3 Tips to help build  the NEW Business Relationships:

  1. People buy from people: so while you feel like you can control what your LinkedIn profile says to just highlight your professional skills, what really makes the sale is the connection and the relationship, so be sure to include a fun fact or two to humanize your description.
  2. It’s ok to be a fan of (x).  Here in the Triangle, one usually falls into one of 3 categories: Are you a…TarHeel, Wolfpack or Blue Devil?  You don’t have to be boring and not be passionate about your fav basketball team.  Go ahead…admit it online and use it to help share more of yourself with your clients. <I am a Tarheel, BTW>
  3. Be vulnerable.  If you are open and share things about yourself, then others will too and that is how you create meaning relationships that last.

In Summary: Sharing personal connections in the professional world = more meaningful business relationships and just may stop your client from only considering price as a decision reason when they buy.  So let the blurring continue!

About the author

Melissa Kennedy

I am an innovative, practical problem-solver with an MBA. Pioneered one of the first social media strategic plans for a Fortune 100 company, including monthly online TV program viewed by 120,000 customers. Created a scalable channel marketing service model and established a new customer communication channel through partner web syndication. Developed marketing plan for start-up technology firm. Launched first comprehensive marketing campaign for major science and technology university's $1 Billion fund-raising effort. Award-winning performance for 15 years across functions, industries and organizations.

My passion for results goes beyond professional pursuits. I am a global facilitator and co-organizer of Startup Weekends and serve as an advocate and volunteer for many local charities including Food Bank of Central/Eastern NC, North Carolina International Affairs Council and Connected Women of North Carolina. Plus, I have served as the President for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association,

2 pings

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    […] is essential for building a solid brand.  Just like I stated in my “blurred lines” post relationships are important to your customers, if there isn’t any substance there […]

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    […] This is how you avoid a price war. […]

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