Everyone has a friend who only calls when they need something. A lot of times, those friends tend to disappear. You either tell them enough is enough, or for some reason, your always busy when they call. Funny how that happens.
In business, this trend can happen as well but it is navigated differently. Business is tricky because a lot of times it is dependent on relationships that are connected only by “need”. Bob only reaches out to Patty because he needs “that paperwork”. Patty might only call Tom when Tom needs to step in and handle a situation. Tom only bothers Susie when he has no idea how to handle this particular situation, the company might get sued, and, oh ya, the sky is falling.
Each one of these interactions can be construed as negative. They each require time from the other person. They each require that other person to act or shift focus during their already busy life. Each of these interactions NEED something. The person reaching out is TAKING time, TAKING breath, TAKING focus from the other person all in a what might be considered a negative light.
Now, in business, Patty’s job might be getting “that paperwork”. Tom might be paid to handle situations. Finally, Susie’s role might be to only get called when the sky is falling. So, most likely, those things will get done.
The question is, if you only take, if you only NEED things, if you only reach out because of negative things, how fast will Susie pick up the phone? How long will Patty take to return that phone call? Better yet, what will Patty’s reaction be when she sees Bob is calling again?
If the relationship is based on business but isn’t based on absolute necessity (like in real estate), is there a point where “A Susie” might stop picking up calls “A Bob”?
Everyone has people where they shutter when that person shows up on their Caller ID. You probably don’t want to be that person to someone else. Especially if you do need that person on a daily, weekly, monthly, or an emergency basis.
The solution: Make sure all of your interactions aren’t NEEDing or TAKing something from the other person. Call them on their birthday. Write to let them know you appreciate them. Praise them to others for the hard work they do.
If you do this, I guarantee when you do need something, they will be happier to do it, get it done faster, and there won’t be a situation when “they are always busy”.