SOBCon09 will be in Chicago this year, from May 1 to May 3. Full price for the three days is $795. I just mentioned to Becky McCray that that price is out of my budget. Ask and you shall receive! They just announced a discount of $200. See the information here.
You'll have to read the entire post just mentioned. The discount is called the “Blog It, Earn It” discount. Here's what they are looking for: We’d like to hear from you about what “The ROI of Relationships” means to you. Tell us why relationships matter. How they affect what you do every day and how you do it. Maybe how you see them changing the face of tomorrow’s businesses. We want to know how relationships and personal connections shape your world. You'll have to link back to the above post and follow some other directions there.
I'm a relatively new to the internet blogger. I'm not a new writer. I write every day. I'm the editor for a local newspaper, I teach classes at Iowa Valley Education, I write training materials for my business, I write geneology articles, I write grants for the Historical Society. Just to mention a few things. I am able to write for a couple of reasons. One: I'm a writer. It's part of who I am. I love to write. It's my passion. Two: I'm a relationship kind of person. I believe that we need each other.
For as long as I can remember, I've been the go to guy. Go to Deb, she'll know that answer. Go to Deb, if she doesn't know - she'll find out. I live and breath on relationships. I love to meet new people and ask them questions. I'll go through the drive thru of a fast food restaurant and ask the person who takes my order if they like their job. I will ask for the store manager when I get good customer service: I believe you should tell the store manager when an employee does good!
So the first question is what is my investment in relationships? I invest my time. I spend it getting to know someone. I listen to them. We all want to be heard, don't we? I invest my intellect as well. I do a lot of research so I can have information available for people when they need it. I invest money as well. It takes meals, coffees, events, books, gifts - things - to build a relationship over time.
Why do relationships matter? I get paid to refer people to the company I work for. It requires that I talk to people, build their trust in me and show them how to shop with my company. I would have no business without relationships. I have to have a relationship with someone to ask for referrals. A person does not give a referral to someone they don't trust, they don't have a relationship with. I write a paper every day. I talk to people, interview them, share their knowledge. You've got to have a relationship to get to the heart of the matter. My interview questions go beyond the who, what, where and why of it all. I don't get answers without a relationship.
Finally, how do I see relationships changing the face of the tomorrow's business? I think the day of the big box stores is going by the wayside. People are coming back to their local communities and shopping with their neighbors and friends. Why? It's not the simple answer - price. Maybe price is better, but often its the same or higher in your local community. The real answer is we crave relationships. We want to know the person doing business with us knows us. That he has our best interest at heart. This happens because our neighbors and friends care about us. Will there be big box stores and large corporations around? Of course. Let me tell you my prediction. The successful ones will create a community with their shoppers. They will earn our trust.
See you in Chicago in May!
picture from www.sobevent.com