Business-Building Ideas From Terry Brock
The only way to have a friend is to be one. Ralph Waldo Emerson
It seems everyone is trying to get more business today —- now more than ever. Yes, we in small businesses are constantly working the phones, pounding the streets and doing what we can to generate new business regularly. Today it is heightened because of the state of the economy.
Many people try the direct approach to get business. They approach someone they don’t know and ask for business. And yes, that can work sometimes. There is a place for this cold calling — for some. However, you might have found, as I have found, that most business comes as a result of building quality, supportive, mutually beneficial relationships.
This business comes not so much from the front door of walking in and saying Hi, I’m wonderful. Do business in with me. It normally comes from the back door as you come into a person you have had some reason to know before. They know you through an association, or a relationship with a trusted confidant who recommended you to them.
This is how business grows best in most cases. Here are some specifics that can help as you build your business.
1. Non-Business Alliances To Get Business. Get to know likely buyers through associations and areas of common interest. People are more likely to open up to you because you share a similar belief or interest. If you go to the same church, synagogue or mosque they are more likely to open up to you. If you have children in the same school they feel they know you and want to be around you. Never neglect the importance of these old fashioned, tried-and-true social networking sites. They came along a long time before Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites on the Internet. Bonus: People in your non-business alliances might not do business with you themselves but can recommend you to others they know who can become customers.
2. Recommendations And Referrals. Don’t forget the importance of referrals and recommendations. When someone gets a referral from a trusted confidant, it is like gold. I recently had a recommendation from someone in my MasterMind group to help with book editing. This person who was recommended turned out to be highly competent and extremely helpful to me in the editing of my book. He also helped me in getting it through publishing. What a delight to know the person both in my MasterMind group and the referral. It saved me lots of time. My MasterMind group member got some favors from the editor and, of course, the editor got new business he wouldn’t have had before. Personal referrals are vital in building your business.
3. Video. Video is a high-tech way of getting in through the back door. People have a chance to get to know you. Well, they kinda know you. They don’t really know all about you — but they feel they do. Think of the people who watch a TV personality and feel they know them even though they”ve never met. There is something magical about video. It generates a certain level of celebrity status. I know I’ve generated a lot of business as a result of video on my website. People hear the messages I leave and then respond because the message resonates with them. If you’re not on video now, this is something you should do in today’s world.
Think about how you react when a pushy salesperson calls on the phone trying to sell you something that you don’t need. It is offensive and a time waster for both parties. A much better approach is to get to know people and network with them. By the word network, I mean to find the connections between a lot of people. The more people you have in your network — people you know well — the more you’ll be able to be the connector who helps people get to know each other. Ultimately this will position you as the person who is the go to person who knows everybody. Take responsibility to act as and think of yourself as the host to meet people and connect them with others. It changes the way the world views you and results in more business for you.
The time, money and effort you put into building your network and having access to the back door builds your likelihood of being known and desired by serious prospects who can use your products and services. This is the essence of Relationship Marketing.
Important Point. Bear in mind that Relationship Marketing, like building any quality relationship, takes time. It is seldom done overnight. It will require an investment of TME (Time, Money, Effort) and yes, there will be a lot of people you meet who just don’t share your values. However, in the long-run —- the run where the best last — you will want to be with people who are serious about building quality relationships and understand the vital principles of Value For Value in Relationship Marketing.
Copyright © 2009, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc. Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and professional speaker who helps businesses generate profitable results. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.terrybrock.com. Join the Twitter adventure with Terry through his Twitter address: TerryBrock.