I run a trucking/warehousing operation where my nearest boss is 800 miles away. So over the years reps from different vendors have called on me to get business. In that time I have made friends with the ones I patronize the most and have found friendship there.
They like to take me to lunch since I don't talk business at all and I love free food. Actually 2 of best rep friends are Lutheran and listened as I thought my way out of the old church. I like to learn about their lives and we share with each other evenly. The cynic in me says the hope of a sale is what gives me the feeling of friendship. But I know these folks like me and look forward to when I show up on their call list.
It has been a perfect outlet for me to try conversations that matter with people. I have always felt like something was lacking in friendships I had. This scenario has let me test the waters with many different personality types and help figure out how to better connect with people.
We all have opportunities fall in our lap where we can reach out to people in our circle and make a difference. Sometimes just listening is all you have to do, just so somebody doesn't feel alone.