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Quick Takes: Six Tips for Remote Presentations - Nancy Duarte

Friendship Matters

Seth Godin asks an author an important question.

 ..."are you writing this for strangers or friends?"

He follows with this insight.

You need to treat friends differently at every step along the way. First, don't confuse the moments you're supporting them or connecting with them with the moments when you are doing business. Second, understand that the most powerful win is when your friends tell their friends about you. This is worth 1000 times more than you talking about yourself.

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.

Suddenly with tools such as blog, Twitter, Facebook, rss feed etc reaching far more than these numbers is easy, less expensive and tempting. But none of the old tricks would work even if you manage to reach these numbers. As this is a total different game all together.  The new tools require you to have a conversation and not force things upon people.  Start having a conversation with your prospective market and make friends long before you offer your service.

If you still need a way to understand what's happening, consider this.

You go on vacation to Yellowstone National Park. You have a great time, andIMG_0390 return home. What do you talk about? The cost, the miles driven, the gas used? No. You talk about  the experience you had with one another.

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.

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