By Dave Siteman Garland
This past weekend, my fiancee and I were mindlessly thumbing the TV remote till we landed on one our favorites: Wedding Crashers.
I’ve probably seen a million times (well maybe not a million but at least…a lot). For those that haven’t seen it, you should. It is the story about two best friends (Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn) who “crash weddings” to hook up with girls.
“OK, so what does this have to do with business in shape or form?”
As I watched again, I couldn’t help but realize that there were lessons everywhere (good and bad) when it comes to relationship creating and building.
Meaning, creating and building relationships…out of thin air.
If you think about it, we are all in some shape or form in the business of creating and building relationships…otherwise you would have no business and instead have a product collecting dust, a service unwanted or a rolodex (both virtual and real) empty.
The right people have to know you and you have to know the right people. And this isn’t an offline thing or online thing…it is both.
So, here are a few business takeaways on the art of relationships from Wedding Crashers.
1. Your Genuine Self Will Be Exposed
In Wedding Crashers: The best friends are exposed for being frauds. They lied about their jobs, names and everything else to get the girls. The brief relationships they looked to build were built on lying…and lying never wins in the long run.
The Takeaway: Not being yourself just doesn’t work. At some point, it will be exposed. With social media, blogs and other hyper word-of-mouth methods ready to expose at any moment, it has never been more important to be genuine because one click of the mouse will expose the truth. Lying has never been in style.
2. Being A Wallflower Never Works
In Wedding Crashers: Vince Vaughn’s character gives Owen Wilson’s character a pep talk. He tells him that if he sulks on the side of the party, he will draw negative attention and never get the girl.
The Takeaway: The same is true of businesses online and offline. If you can’t stick out from the pack, you end up fitting in with the masses. You have to get out there and hustle. Nobody goes into business to be mediocre right?
3. A 3rd Party Introduction Always Beats A Cold Call
In Wedding Crashers: Owen Wilson’s character sends the flower girl with a note over to a girl he is looking to meet. On the note, it asks her if she would like to dance (the classic circle yes, no or maybe).
The Takeaway: Are you getting introduced often online and offline? Want to be introduced more? Spend more time doing it yourself and making those introductions to people online and offline?
4. Research, Research, Research
In Wedding Crashers: Before crashing a wedding, the boys do their research. They know who is going to be there and their interests. For example, when John (Owen Wilson’s character) talks with the father of his latest target, he has already researched him and is able to carry on a conversation about his “Position Papers In Micronesia.”
The Takeaway: Information has never been more readily available…and in a good way. Before you meet someone, how much do you know beforehand? Information is a huge advantage (A great way to manage all your relationships from all sites and sources online is Gist. Check it out…great free service).
5. Building Real Relationships Isn’t Instantaneous
In Wedding Crashers: Finally, Owen Wilson discovers a woman he really like and his goal changes from the meaningless one night stand to looking to learn more about her and spending time with her. This leads to an adventure back to her family’s summer home.
The Takeaway: There is a big difference from building real business (and personal) relationships and a one night stand. Which ones are you building?
A little food for thought:
How are you building relationships?
Are you giving first or trying to take?
Is your network growing or shrinking?
Do you feel like you genuinely know more people now than you did two years ago?
Have you introduced someone to someone else this week? Today?
Relationship creating and building at the one-on-one level has always been something vital in business and is continuing to get more and more important by the day. If you don’t focus on doing it well (and authentically)…you might end up running from someone’s house holding your clothes while her Grandma is shooting at you from the front porch (ummm no, that wasn’t personal experience…c’mon didn’t you read the title?)