Recently I have had some contact with a couple of new members. We have never met, but they liked the Group and the local businesses they met when they each visited a Group and asked to join. The necessary formalities with websites and paperwork were done and then they became the latest members of their Group. Very little of this process involved me, because my wonderful Group Directors organise and run the meetings. I stay out of their way and try not to clutter their lives up. However, the very last stage is done by me and I need a couple of questions answered and a Zoom 1-2-1 to arrange.
Obviously, I had warm feelings towards these two people because:
- they saw the value of being part of one of my Groups (and one is already talking about joining a second Group),
- they understood the ethos of the Groups (trust is built through strong relationships and referrals follow organically,
- they have paid me some money which I will now spend unwisely!
However, I realised that I liked these people and I had never met them. I also realised I had begun to trust them and their business. Why? Because they replied to my emails in a timely manner. Why did that follow? Because when I email someone and they don’t reply I think that:
- they are too busy to be able to talk to me and certainly wouldn’t be able to do any work I needed or, more importantly, the work of anyone I referred to them. (So, my reputation is being undermined).
- They are disorganised and might be disorganised if I needed work done or if someone I referred to them needed work. (So my reputation…etc.).
- They can’t be bothered.
Now, I don’t expect people to be sat waiting on the off chance I may decide to contact them, but as a business I do expect them to reply during normal working hours (theirs not mine). As one of my new members I obviously play it slightly differently, but I am still beginning to get a feel and make a judgement: of their service, their business and them as the owners. I am judging and I’m not sat around giving this thought, the judgements are happening subconsciously.
It might be that other people don’t care what people (potential customers) think of them, but I can’t imagine this to be the case. For me, I know I am beginning to trust my new members, which is lovely, and I’ve never even met them.
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