Friends, Facebook, and Followup

Facebook is so funny.  You're sitting there trying to beat level 89 of Candy Crush, and up pops this friend request - this person you haven't seen or heard from in years, you were in homeroom with him in 10th grade.  During your years, you probably exchanged... I don't know... 35 words?  Now, he is so excited to have found you.

So, your finger hovers over the button on your smartphone...
Do I accept?  What's his name again?  oh, yeah.. Jake.  

So, you click on his profile to see what he shares with the public.  A few photos, not much.  He looks like his younger version, just heavier.  Oh, his wife looks nice.  Looks like they live in Rhode Island.  I don't know anybody else in Rhode Island.

So, you accept the request.  Now, there he is.. friend number 389.  You don't really care that he found a new shawarma place for lunch today, or that his kid lost a tooth.  You don't want to be bothered with how upset he is at his electric bill.  The truth is.. you don't really care because he's not really your friend!

What's this got to do with selling?  A lot.  Your customers have the same feeling, and then they get to deal with you!  This has A LOT to do with selling because your customers are juggling more people than they ever had in their life.  And you want a piece of them, too.  The Dunbar principle, recently revisited by BusinessWeek ( suggests that we feeble minded humans are capped at around 150 quality relationships.  Subconciously, one gets in, we boot another out.  We can only manage so many.

Here's my question: Why should your customer want a relationship with YOU? 

Those of us that get solicited often have an easy time blocking out new solicitors.  And, if you are in sales, you are just another one.  Your customer doesn't even know why they allowed Jake to be their newest friend, they certainly don't want to make room for you.... unless.

Unless you are adding relevant, quality value to their lives. To their work.  To their family.  UNLESS you have made the focus about THEM.  Try this next time in your face to face with your customer:
"How may I followup with you? (email, phone, text)"
"WHEN I followup with you, what specific information do you want?"

Then, when you followup, make it about THEM.  They'll be far more likely to keep up with you and kick Jake out of their circle!


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