In this fast paced world, a world of distraction - fuelled by email and social media - could it be that the one thing we crave most, we're just not getting? REAL, meaningful connection.
Take the standard greeting as an example: "How are you today?" How often do people ask that question? And how often are they actually interested in the answer?
The only thing we tend to think about, day in, day out, is ourselves. Me, Me, Me. It's the human condition. Our 'mind-made self' protecting its 'self', creating separation - an 'I' - to give one a sense of identity - a false identity, an illusion - but one that we believe in wholeheartedly and take far too seriously.
This could just be me, of course :-/
This could just be me. But don't we all suffer from this? It's the human condition, the mind, always distracting us from the Now, from the current moment; always wanting the next moment, a better moment.
Be with the one you're with.
How often do you have a meeting with a client and then, most of the time, your head is busy thinking about what to say next? Do you REALLY listen? Do you really connect? If you haven't got structure in your first meeting process (the most important meeting of all - the one in which trust is created - or lost), if you haven't got a process, a track on which to run, if you don't know what comes next, (perhaps because you use a blank piece of paper rather than a structured paper fact-find) then your head is going to be very busy. And not always where it should be.
But what if you did connect with that client, in that precious moment?
Every client we meet provides a unique opportunity to connect with another human being. And that's special.
Let's face it, on a day-to-day basis, clients encounter pretty meaningless, shallow, uncaring 'relationships' with countless institutions. With staff at banks, utilities, shops, stores, other professionals, colleagues - and friends even. No-one appears to be REALLY interested in them? Most everyone they encounter is too busy 'just doing their job' and just looking after, thinking about, pre-occupied by, protecting, fighting for, arguing for - themselves!
Nobody is REALLY interested in your client, in THEM, in THEIR story?
And then... you turn up!
Every client that you meet with, whether they be a new or existing client, deep down is lonely. You, reading this, deep down, are lonely. Admit it. You're insecure, and you know it. We all are. If we are brave enough to admit it. It comes with being human. This mind-made self that we've created is very fragile.
So, knowing this, CONNECT! Be with your clients. Be interested. Be really, REALLY interested, in them, in their story. Where are they now in their life? How did they get to where they are now? Where do they want to get to in the future? What is their STORY? We all have a story. You've got one, I've got one. Be interested in THEIR story.
That's how we build trust, by being genuinely interested in our client - a fellow human being - with fears and doubts and wants and needs and dreams and goals.
Once uncovered, our job, is to help those dreams come true, before it's too late.
But first, you've got to connect.