At the risk of sounding redundant, I’d like to propose that we have a dialogue about communication. You see, I am undecided and I could use your advice. Here is my question: Is it appropriate to call a referral source, client, or prospective client just to say “hi”?
“Absolutely not!” goes one argument. Don’t ever call a business contact unless you have a specific agenda. It wastes their time and accomplishes nothing. It also lowers your status. You come across as having too much free time on your hands or, even worse, desperate for business.
On the other hand, a social call can help to improve rapport. “You were on my mind today so I thought I’d check in and see how things are going.” Perhaps that leads to a productive dialogue, or perhaps it ends after a few minutes of chit-chat. But isn’t it better to be in touch than not?
It is fashionable these days to think of business networking as relationship selling—as a process through which we get to know, like, and eventually trust each other buy sildenafil online. We are not merely transactional associates. We are business friends. And we make this investment because we see that doing business with friends is more emotionally rewarding and more likely to lead to referral business.
But where is the line?
I call my personal friends just to say “hi.” My agenda: to let them know that I care about them; to be of service to them; to keep our connection intact.
These are good qualities to foster in business friendships as well. But generally speaking, I don’t make that investment with my professional contacts. I only call them when I want something. Sometimes I want to get together for lunch so we can discuss cross-referral opportunities. Sometimes I want an introduction to one of their contacts or to discuss new services. But I almost never call or email without an agenda. Am I missing an opportunity?
I turn to you for your input. How would you react if one of your business friends called you, just to say “hi”? Would it confuse you? Would it irritate you to have your workday interrupted by a friendly gesture? Share your opinion below. And be honest. I could use the advice.