You could argue society is more connected than ever. We ask our watches to send text messages on our behalf, control the light switches in our homes by voice command, track our friends' locations with a few clicks on our smartphones, and consume our news through whichever means is most convenient for us. Think about it - you're introduced to someone at a conference, exchange business cards, and within a few days, you've "connected" via email or LinkedIn. For this article, we're going to call this style of connection - the kind that requires a simple formula and the push of a few metaphorical buttons - a microwave connection.
Real connection, though - the kind that's meaningful - happens in a slow cooker. It's the slow progression that is the true catalyst for driving people to act and commit for the long term - in our business, and in yours.
One of Crossroads' core values is that we genuinely care about the history and vision of our clients. I'd argue this is truly the right first step in any relationship you hope to progress - genuinely care.
People can smell fake from a mile away. And, while we're all in the business of feeding our families and keeping roofs over our heads, so are the people you're trying to sell to. Maslow taught us the need for love and belonging (or, connection) comes immediately after our physiological and safety requirements as human beings, so meeting people where they are as human beings - rather than approaching each interaction as a robotic sales pitch - is the first step in the right direction for all of us.
In application, genuinely caring looks a lot like asking questions and learning as much as you can about the other party - taking time to understand who they are and what they hope to achieve in the world. What's interesting is that even in this slow cooker process, if there's true potential for a working relationship, a meaningful connection often happens instantaneously (or at least, it'll seem like it).
This formative time in a relationship looks different across the board but taking the time to care and learn is truly what lays the foundation for future success.
After the initial spark happens, it takes additional nurturing (time + effort) to form a partnership. Let's use dating as a metaphor.
Once you've formed an initial (likely surface-level) connection with someone, is marriage the logical next step? And, for the purpose of this metaphor, we're not in Vegas or on the set of a reality TV show. The chances of making a successful long-term commitment based on an initial interaction are slim at best.
At Crossroads, we're certainly capable of doing quick, one-off projects, but our preference (and the thing we're really freakin' good at, if I'm speaking freely) is forming long-term partnerships with organizations that value connection as much as we do. I think this concept can be beneficial across most organizations. It makes the work you do more meaningful, and it makes smart business sense to work that way.
Long-term partnerships may take more time and effort than the shorter one-off projects, but we've found they're more fruitful, and they make the relationships more meaningful in the process.
It's this type of nurturing, the slow cooker kind, that sets the stage for people to stick around, and it's the kind that we can help you achieve.