… is better than a sales pitch any day.

Don’t be duplicitous, of course. You can’t just dress up your sales pitch as an invitation and expect us not to see through it.

But, more often than we realize, what we’re really after is not a sale, a mere transaction. We’re after some kind of a relationship. Maybe it’s a relationship that involves transactions and exchanges. But if we’re looking for more than just a single occasional trade, it’ll only happen when there’s a relationship.

And you can’t sell a relationship. You have to be invited to one. Or make an invitation.

An invitation is entirely different than a sales pitch.

The sales pitch is about what you can do for me. Buy my stuff. Do this for me. Choose me.

The invitation is about offering engagement around something we have in common. Common interests. Common items. Common values. Common living spaces. Common prosperity.

Some people are good at sales. From the time we’re in 1st grade being sent out to sell crap for the school or scouts, you know the few who stand out. They win the bike and the accolades. Maybe you’re one of them, and if you are more power to you. But most of us, I think, are pretty uncomfortable with it. We know that sales can be an honest way to make a living, but it still makes us feel smarmy. We do it when we have to, but only because we have to.

A market economy that emphasizes consumers tends to reinforce those 1st grade experiences. We get pitched at constantly. We’re often told that we need to sell to prosper. In business, survival is dependent on sales.

But the truth is, we don’t need to sell nearly as often as we’re led to believe. And, as connected as we are these days, a world based on transactions and sales turns out to be a pretty lonely place. What we probably do need, on the other hand, is to be more courageous in our invitations to relationship and collaboration.

Even people in sales need meaningful relationships. A business that is merely surviving on sales might just do better if it gets the larger picture and starts working on it’s relationships.

That’s why an invitation is better than a sales pitch any day.