MarketingProfs B2B Forum is going virtual... with a twist. Don’t miss it.

I've since passed my party prime but I still love trying. Last weekend, we used complimentary tickets to a local fundraiser classified as a "blue jeans ball," and that worked for me. The event became somewhat more complex, however, when we received two additional tickets....

We traveled the usual highways... family, friends, peers. And then, we thought, what a great opportunity to invite a client. Always a good thing when building business relationships. Please note that the key word in the predicate is "business." And that's a problem for me.
I started this post by expressing my love for partying. And business and partying seldom go together. And that was true on Saturday night.
Before we knew it, the fundraiser became a blur of beer and margaritas and the business relationship building was turning into friendship building. The difference between the two relationships primarily lies in the way one acts and the stories one tells. And I have more than a few stories best left untold in the business environment.
This time I lucked out. As the screw turned, I learned that my client also has some stories best left untold, except among friends. And his blend of gin blurring took hold much faster than my Corona. Soon the fundraiser drove us to a local rowdy bar, and Saturday turned into Sunday, and by afternoon, we continued to share stories via e-mail.
The point of this is that I prefer to separate client relationships from friendships. It appears this one may work out. However, as a marketing strategy, business relationships most often are better off conceived between guideposts that keep personal stories left untold. Our other sides often contain hidden pasts that may leave our clients less comfortable and confident than they may wish to feel.
Still, marketing is about story telling, and I'll share mine if you share yours. Or is that a bad idea?

Sign up for free to read the full article.

Take the first step (it's free).

Already a registered user? Sign in now.



Lewis Green, Founder and Managing Principal of L&G Business Solutions, LLC, ( brings three decades of business management experience. L&G Business Solutions, LLC, represents his third company. Additionally, he held management positions with GTE Discovery Publications, Puget Sound Energy and Starbucks Coffee Company.

In addition to his business experiences, Lewis is a published author and a former journalist, sports writer and travel writer. His feature articles have appeared in books, magazines and newspapers throughout North America. He has taught in public schools; lobbied for organizations both in state capitols and in Washington, D.C.; delivered workshops, seminars, and training programs; and made presentations to audiences in colleges, businesses and professional organizations. Lewis also has served as a book editor with a large publisher, the Executive Editor overseeing four magazines, and a newspaper department editor. Lewis served eight years in the U.S. Air Force, where he received the Air Force Commendation Medal.