My Awesome Mexican Friend
I believe marketing is about creating strong relationships, and that by focusing on relationships we’ll have much more fun, and we’ll experience long term success.
We should listen to our customers, and join them in discussions, in order to find and discover what we can do to help them and to make our relationship even stronger.
Let me give you an example from when I visited my awesome Mexican friend.
I believe that this can be used on any business, and any type of relationship with customers.
We met in High School
Victor is his name.
We met in August 1990, in Blaine, a small town close to the border of Canada. I was an exchange student from Norway, and he was an exchange student from Mexico.
We became close friends within the first week of school. During the year I played basketball, and I had a lot of things on my mind. The culture was different from what I was used to, and I had to adapt to blend in. I met up with Victor during the weekends, and we did all sorts of things together.
Now, don’t get me wrong, but one of those things was drink beer. I’m not going to brag that I drank a lot, or that I was a party animal, because I wasn’t. But, we were teenage boys, and we were in the US, and we had a really good time.
The trip to Mexico
What happened when I visited him in Mexico about 10 years later made me laugh and it made me a little worried.
I traveled with my girlfriend at the time, she’s now my wife, and we met him at the airport in Cancun. He looked the same, and he acted the same. The first thing he did was give me a cold Corona (beer).
Wow. I wasn’t sure what to say. I want to believe that I said thank you. But all I remember is that I was stunned.
I never told him that I hadn’t been drinking beer in a very long time. And that I really liked Coca-Cola a lot more than beer. And now, standing there with a cold Corona in my hand, I was unsure how to handle the situation. We were going to be on vacation with him and his family for two weeks, and the first thing he did, almost before he said hi, was give me a beer. I looked at my girlfriend and I could see that she was both a little surprised and skeptical.
In Victor’s world, we were back in the US and we were 10 years younger. I realized that we hadn’t been talking about our lives in this sense at all. He had a girlfriend and he was working for a real estate agent in Merida, and I was almost finished with my masters degree, and that was it. I didn’t know anything else about him, and neither did he about me.
I drank the beer, and I decided to sit down and talk with him as soon as I got the chance. I did sit down to talk with him, while drinking another Corona. When I told him about my life and that I hadn’t been drinking beer in a very long time, he started laughing. He told me that he was so concerned about this vacation, and that he hadn’t been drinking beer in a very long time either. Life was very different from High School in the US for both of us.
While talking, it felt like we were creating our relationship all over again, and that I really understood who he was as a person. He told me about his parents, his sisters and his girlfriend and I understood why I enjoyed being with him in the first place. This talk took no more than 30 minutes, but it was the one thing that turned our stay into a fantastic and unforgettable vacation in the Yucatan Peninsula.
I have thought a lot about what would have happened if we didn’t have this talk.
I truly believe in creating strong relationships with your customers.
And that if you do, you’ll have so much more fun and long-term success.
Think about my trip and my awesome Mexican friend, who turned out to be just like me.
Jens P. Berget is a Norwegian author, who is currently writing his first novel. He is also writing a blog called slymarketing, where he explains marketing by using analogies from his experiences in life.