Convention and relationships

I come back to Chris Brogan's piece about conventions frequently. Brogan's punchline is:

New marketing is more like: find people who make more sense. Start relationships with them before selling them. Learn more about them. Make the offer if it makes sense.

This isn't anything new. If you've touched your toe in on social media blogging, you've said this. I've you've ever advised people on using a social media tool, you've said this.

But are you doing it? Whether your social marketing is mediated or not – that is, whether you're looking for the sale in a face-to-face or an online environment – are you closing the sale before you've learned enough about the person to discover that you sell pipes but they need doors?

Sure, you do pipes, but if you knew someone who did doors, you could be selling their products to this new customer instead. And if you help the customer out when she needs doors, she'll remember you when she needs pipes.

True story.