A tale of two coaches and the cost of transactional relationships

I recently sent two very similar emails to two coaches/consultants who seemed to share very similar values and passion for supporting conscious businesses and entrepreneurs. The intention of my message was clear, they were doing very similar things on a very important topic and I would love to connect and share our collective experience.

In short, the responses I received were:

Coach 1: I would be happy to connect and learn more about what you are doing in the conscious business space.

Coach 2: I would be willing to give you a session to explore this for US$350.

While I was not looking for a coach at the time, I ended up hiring one of them and even giving out their information to others. Which coach you ask…? Indeed it was numero uno — Coach 1. I never interacted with Coach 2 after our email exchange.

While this is an extreme example of someone approaching a relationship as a transaction, we face similar decisions each day in how we interact with those around us. Here are a few key points on how to foster relationships and avoid transactional relationships whenever possible.

1. Don’t Make Assumptions: Don’t assume you know who you are talking to and what their needs are. Before you even think about offering a service or anything of transactional nature, get clear on who they are and what it is (if anything) they are looking for.

2. Prioritize the Connection: Make having an authentic connection (no matter how slight) the priority in your interaction. See the individual as a person and not a dollar sign. This may even mean not taking their business. This mindset will create trust and any potential business connection can grow from there.

3. Add Value, Always Add Value: The reality is, we don’t always have space to create significant relationships with everyone we meet. AND we can still add value through the interaction. During my experience building my own business some individuals I wanted to connect with simply had no bandwidth. Some shrugged me off. Others gave me some words of support and pointed me to some resources (books, podcasts, articles, individuals, etc.). Which of these do you think I am more likely to refer business to? Finding simple ways to add value will help others and make your interaction more memorable.

Despite the digital and online revolution, business is still built on relationships. Focusing on the transaction may get you some up front wins, but valuing the relationship will bring you long term success.

Want to learn more, send me $500 bucks and I’d be willing to talk with you… just kidding ;).

Feel free to leave a comment if you feel moved to do so!