Public relations is all about relationships. Go figure. We’ve already talked about narrowing a target audience, figuring out who wants what you have to offer. Let’s talk about a different way of thinking about this.
When I was a teen, people read Reader’s Digest. It was the print version of today’s Facebook: personal stories of human triumph and tragedy, some serious articles, some funny jokes, and some good affirmations or quotes for the day. One of those quotes profoundly impacted a very shy, impressionable girl. Apologies to the long forgotten author–it was more than 30 years ago! Paraphrased it went something like this:
Out of the 100% of people you’ll meet in your lifetime there will be four types.
25% will dislike you for all the wrong reasons. They make assumptions, are misinformed, don’t know you at all and don’t care to figure it out. 25% will dislike you for all the right reasons. They know your flaws and don’t choose to overlook them. They know you-they’re just not that in to you. 25% will like you for all the wrong reasons. They want your access or your assets for free. They cling to you thinking it will lead them somewhere else. Or they are jealous and want to destroy you.
But the 25% you need to focus on are the 25% who like you for all the right reasons.
On a personal front, that’s a far easier group of people to keep in your life. Come to think of it, it’s the same on a professional level too. Who needs clients who just aren’t in to you? Who needs an employee who just wants to take what they can get from you and move to the next better offer? No one has time to convert the opposition–few political party or wedge issue advocates are going to change sides. Why bother trying to make them?
The 25% who want to know you, like what you stand for, and appreciate what you have to offer are worth doing business with. Referrals for their services (whether employee or client) come naturally and make sense. Working with them helps you love your business that much more. And they never make you feel bad about yourself or your business.
So ask yourself as you look for business relationships: which 25% does this client prospect fit in? Here’s to finding the special fourth who like you for all the right reasons.