Seth Godin asks an author an important question.
He follows with this insight.
This is a bigger question than simply whether you are selling to strangers or friends. It is a wholesale change in how we think about the impact of our businesses.
Until very recently, numbers ruled. Technology is changing that. Now, the average person can have access to as many people as the President, if they understand what the game really is.
Numbers are no longer the most important factor in business. Now, trust, respect, integrity and public perception have become much more important.
If you are perceived as using Twitter to grow numbers, you'll be shunned as an opportunist. However, if you are perceived as a person of influence because you are both generous and wise, then your numbers will grow and they will be sustainable because these people want to be your friend.
Here's the real secret, it isn't enough to be a good person that people like. You have to be this person in conversation. Sal Bhanji responding to Seth's post gets it.
If you still need a way to understand what's happening, consider this.
You tell stories of the agitated bison that came up to your car(true story). You tell of the forest fire (true story), the snow fall in August (true), and meeting FBI director Robert Mueller at dinner (also true). You tell of the people you met, the sights you saw and the surprises along the way. You share your experiences. You recommend places to stay and restaurants to visit. And you share what you learned about life, friendship, family and the importance of each. You tell me this, and I want to go to Yellowstone. Every year. And go with you.
Please don't confuse friendship with numbers. Friendship is giving, sharing, caring, sacrifice, honor, and gratitude. If you can be this person with 10,000 people then you have a chance of doing some remarkable things. You can have an impact far beyond the product you are selling.