My kids' grandpa does this silly thing where he shakes their little hands and sings a jingle that goes:
"How ya doin'? Shake hands, state your name and business."
It makes them laugh. It's cute. But there's a message in there that I want to point out.
Shake hands, state your name and business
So many business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals try and use the "add value, pretend to be their friend, and play the long game" approach.
I find it annoying because it's false and makes you feel taken advantage of when you realize they never wanted to be your friend in the first place.
When people buy something from you, they want that purchase to improve their lives in some way.
They don't want a pretend friendship.
Sure, be valuable and friendly.
But if this is a business exchange? Let it be a business exchange. Not some pseudo-courtship.
Shake their hand, state your name and business.
That could be taken literally and practiced in person, but it could also be practiced online with your marketing, manual outreach and networking efforts.
"Hey, my name is X. I'm in the business of solving Y for Z, and I'd love to help you out. Can I ask you a quick question?"
Maybe it's old school.
But it's honest.
And people appreciate you for stating your intentions.
Besides, I think you should keep friendships and business separate.