Introduction from Alana
Over the past year or so, I’ve gotten to know the amazing, Ravi Dasari. Ravi and I were connected through a couple of mutual contacts and we hit it off right away! In addition to being a gifted strategic marketing executive, Ravi is such a great thinker. He has the ability to couple fact-based information with qualitative observations to make recommendations to advance initiatives. So, when he began schooling me on “equity-“ vs. “transaction-“ based relationships, I begged him for a piece to share with the CLC Community for this month.
It’s a privilege to introduce my friend, Ravi Dasari, to CLC.
Guest post by Ravi Dasari
Former President John F. Kennedy coined the memorable phrase, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” The substance of that quote is the undercurrent of developing meaningful, substantive, lasting personal and business relationships.
A willingness to help other people without an expectation of receiving anything in return is not only a selfless act, but is the impetus to build credibility, trust and equity in a relationship. It also forms a bond between individuals that is lasting and unwavering, and is a stimulus for unmitigated loyalty.
Many excellent personal relationships are based on this premise of an “equity-based relationship.” However, businesses and people building relationships in a business context many times fall short of this ideal. Instead, they look more for short-term reward and expect something in return immediately, forming the basis for a “transaction-based relationship.”
Whether the objective is to network with others to help make a career change or work with a salesperson while one considers making a purchase of some sort, people will appreciate it if the individuals involved set aside their ultimate objective and outcome in the short term and simply try to help the other person by becoming an advocate on their behalf.
In a networking context, that may mean learning about the other’s person’s aspirations and their interests. Getting to know them as a human being instead of diving straight into asking, “Do you know of any open positions or can you introduce me to someone who is trying to fill a job in my field.” Learning about the other individual may open avenues that you never expected and possibly shed light on ways you can actually help that person. It will certainly help increase the chances that the person you are networking with will want to build a lasting relationship so if they don’t know of an opportunity for you right now, they will contact you when you they hear of something.
In a business context, people are tired of pushy, overbearing sales calls trying to get them to buy something quickly. Such messages are also delivered in e-mails or snail mail, and are generally ignored. There is little consideration whether the product is even relevant to your business or personal life.
When someone is considering a certain type of product, let’s say a car, annoying remarks such as “What can I do to get you into this car today?” are quick turn off. Conversely, a salesperson who is interested in building a long-term, equity-based relationship is more interested in listening to the prospective buyer and providing as much education about what he wants to know. The salesperson is an advocate and simply uses his expertise to help the prospect make an informed decision that is best for him/her. Even if the prospect doesn’t buy a car from that salesperson, he makes a follow up call to thank them for considering his dealership and writes a hand-written thank you note.
The contrast between an equity-based and transaction-based relationship is stark. So are the benefits one receives in terms of loyalty and longevity.