The referral based marketing course I teach, divides relationships into three categories. It doesn’t matter what names are given to them, let’s just say level 1, 2 or 3. Level 1 (visibility) is when you have just met someone, level 2 (credibility) is when you’ve begun to get to know them better and actually like them. Level 3 (profitability) is when magic happens. That’s where you trust each other so much that you refer business back and forth. In class we talk about how people rush the relationship model, by jumping from 1 to 3, having just met. We’ve all experienced this phenomenon and the uncomfortable feelings associated with being on the wrong end of this rush. I don’t know about you, but when someone tries to do that to me, I want to run and hide at best, or be rude at my worst.
Doug Clark, a mortgage lender with Fifth Third Bank, told a story at our most recent Certified Networker graduation that demonstrated the above scenario. As MC of our event he began the evening by asking a young guest in the front row to pretend that he wasn’t married (with apologies to wife Marcia!) and that they were going out for a coffee date. Doug continued, “Now at the end of the hour or so, things have gone well and I look at you and say, ‘Let’s get married.’” The look on the young women’s face was priceless as you can imagine. Doug ended by giving the point of the story, which was that relationships take time to develop and for most it doesn’t happen over night.
Interestingly, this type of getting to know you/do business with you now happened to me via email the very same week. A banker (not Doug!) from the institution where my husband and I have banked forever sent a message to me. I have never heard his name before, nor has this person made any attempt to meet me in person. The message was, “I help your husband with his banking. It would be a good idea if I got to know you, too. In that view we are having an investment seminar at the bank this week and I would like you to come as my guest.” Needless to say, I did not attend the event, nor has this person done anything to make me wish to get to know him. My feeling is that he just wanted to fill his quota of people at the seminar. He was asking me to marry him without even the benefit of the coffee date.
Does this type of marketing drive you crazy or is it just me?