In the film ‘Interstellar’ by Christopher Nolan, there is a scene that had a deep impact on me. It is when Anne Hathaway’s character, DR. Brand, speaks about how love is the one thing that allows us to transcend the dimensions of space and time.
The reason why I bring this up is to demonstrate that our inherent belief that a physical presence is required to build a true relationship is fundamentally flawed.
Love is one of the purest expressions of trust. So if we can experience true love from a distance, we certainly can build meaningful virtual business relationships!
The one thing that determines the survival of a remote relationship is trust. And if there is one thing we all strive for in a business relationship, it is to have confidence in that other person. It matters because trust is the ultimate ingredient that makes or breaks a business relationship.
Trust is an emotion. It is something you either feel intuitively or don't. There is nothing rational about it.
The number of people who find their romantic partners online has now risen to the point that it can no longer be a coincidence. There is an undeniable trend that online dating is common. In fact, it is taking over from more traditional ways for lovers to meet.
In 2015, Statistic Brain's research revealed that 17% percent of marriages originated online. This number just keeps rising.
Here's why this matters:
If people can find their life partners through virtual channels, imagine what can be possible for businesses to achieve for relationships with their customers.
The concept of ‘fans’ is not new to us either. Think about the unconditional support that fans offer to their favourite sports teams, even if means putting up with long losing streaks. Or they way some people worship celebrities they’ve never met.
We all want to experience love and belonging.
We don’t think twice about sharing pictures and videos with each other. We post content that will make us more attractive and more desirable. Maybe you are frowning as you read this but ask yourself why you can’t resist the desire to post content that makes you look awesome to others.
The fact is that many of us are already ‘all in’ when it comes to using technology to win approval from others!
And in this phrase lies a huge nugget of value:
‘Technology makes it easier for people to find the approval they seek’
Once you understand the power of this idea, you will start seeing a huge potential for your business. We have accepted to push our boundaries to use technology to enhance our personal connections with others. But the same is not true when it comes to adopting the same technology to our professional lives.
When it comes to our personal use of the internet we are willing to be vulnerable. We will share some of our most intimate moments. But everything changes as soon as business comes into the picture. We take several steps back. We become self-conscious about what we let the world see about us. The divergence between our personal and professional behaviour is so striking that it borders absurdity.
Of course, you can’t generalise, but I am sure you would agree that the vast majority of businesses still put up as much makeup as their faces can hold.