Why Is My New Business Not Busy?
So now I own my very own business. Now what? Oh right, I need clients! How do I get clients? Let’s put an ad in the paper, send out postcards, and hang fliers on electric poles. Here’s a great idea! Yellow Pages!
It has been 3 months and I’m still not busy. Why is this not working? Let’s do Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare, MySpace, and Google+… You know, that social media thing that everyone is talking about.
Someone just told me about this thing called a blog. What in the world is a blog? Of course we need a web page. Why didn’t I think of that earlier!?!
Business is getting better, but we need more clients. I thought owning your own business would be easy. My boss made it look so great.
Oh look! Someone found us on the website! But that is the first and only one in 2 months. What do I need to do to attract more clients? You know, the ones with money to spend.
Networking! That is what is missing. Let’s join the local Chamber of Commerce, BNI, and there is this group that meets every Thursday at Denny’s.
Then there is one that meets at the library on Monday for lunch and I heard about a real estate group that gets together on Wednesday. There is actually one on Friday? Let’s join that one too!
And we wonder where the time goes. What is your best networking experience? Tell me in the comments below.
All of my efforts are starting to pay off, but I know that there is a better way. I know! I’ll sign up for a seminar, but which one? I’ll Google it. Zig Ziglar, Howard Partridge, Jim Roan, Dale Carnegie, John C. Maxwell, Tony Robbins, Michael Gerber, Delatorro McNeal.
There are a lot of them! But when do I have time to go to a seminar? And I can’t afford them. (P.S. – Attending seminars has been one of the best things that I have done and continue to do for my business. You need to do it whenever you can.)
I Need Business Now
But I need to make more money the young man said. I need more clients. I wonder how my boss did it? Shall I call him or not. The guy on my right shoulder says yes, but the guy on my left shoulder says “No! He was not too happy when you left that job.”
But I’m desperate. I have a wife and a family to feed. I’m going to call him. Here goes…
“I knew you would call.”
“I’m not asking for my job back.”
“I know. You want to know how, right?”
“Yes! How do you do it?”
“Son, I’m going to tell you something that will change your business and life. Are you ready?”
“All of life is about relationship.”
“Yes! When you build right relationships with the right people you get right results.”
“Oh, I understand Sir. Thanks! Do you mind if I call you again if I have more questions?”
“Any time. Bye-bye.”
So if I build right relationships with the right people so I can get right results, I will need to know where my target market buys their lifestyle, where they socialize, what their hobbies are, where they buy their furniture, where their favorite restaurants are.
I need to know everything there is no know about my target market. Who knows my target market? Other businesses of course!
What would happen if I build a relationship with other business owners and managers? Would they actually refer their clients to me?
So the boss man said to build “right relationships.” What does that mean? Let’s think this thing through. I’m asking for something right? So I need to give something to them.
I need to add value to them. Maybe I could help with their challenges in their business, or bring breakfast to their staff, or refer a client to them, or give them free service.
Folks, the story goes on to say that this young man became very successful at attracting clients and has built many right relationships and has gotten right results from the advice of the former boss. In fact, he now has personal relationships with the speakers and coaches at the seminars he attended.
The truth of the matter is that it was a combination of all the things he tried, from Yellow Pages, Facebook, and networking to seminars (it is important to note that there is no one key to attracting clients).
But if he would have learned the principles of relationship marketing and referral marketing, he would have been more successful much more quickly. I know because that person is myself.
Here’s a bonus thought. What do you think would happen if you committed to meeting 5 new people a month and figure out a way to add value to them? Please leave your thoughts below.
Here are some ways that you can add value to people.
I found them on http://www.studentlinc.net. There are over 100 ways, but here are 10 that I like.
1.Compliment people in some way within the first 30 seconds of your conversation. When you are meeting someone for the first time or for the hundredth time, it is always nice to be flattering. Notice that the person looks happy or acknowledge a recent accomplishment of theirs. People are always looking for acceptance. Make someone feel valued by noting their specialness in the form of sincere compliment.
2.Ask people questions about 3 key areas: Their passions, their projects, and their principles. Begin a conversation with “I value your opinion about…” whatever the subject ideas are whether they be class, school, or church. “Could you share your thoughts on it with me?” It is a positive way to make someone feel as though you hold their opinion in high regard. It is an intimate look into the person to whom you are speaking. Because the question is open-ended, you may learn a lot about a topic of interest to you both as well as a lot about the person.
3.Compliment a person about something specific in front of another person. This one is tricky. Be careful not to say “Wow! I haven’t seen you in a while. You have lost a lot of weight!” This has happened in my presence before. It was with a new friend who ran into an old friend while we were all at a football game. My poor friend was very embarrassed. Clearly you can find a nice compliment to say to someone that will not mortify them.
4.If you discover a meaningful article or blog post, send a copy to another person with a note describing the benefits you derived from it. We have all been victims of the well-intentioned forward with the Chicken Soup For The Soul-type message. While these are somewhat inspiring the first time you read them, they could get a little old after the 187th time. Why not work to recreate the culture of forwards by forwarding specific information that will truly add value to the person. (Yes, just one person at a time you are sending it to.) When you forward something meaningful like this, make sure you tell them why you think the other person will find this information helpful.
5.Remember people’s names. This is a big tip when dealing with people in business. People are very attached to their name. Nothing makes a person feel valued more than knowing they made enough of an impression on you for you to remember their name. It helps in the dating world too.
6.Remember people’s birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions. Send them a note on those dates to let them know you are sharing in their celebration. Recently, I had a birthday and I got a phone call from a former competitor of mine. He just wanted to let me know that he thought about me on my birthday. He told me about a calendar he has with all the people that he values in his life on the calendar with their birthdate, how old they are, and their phone number. So every day he checks his calendar and makes the appropriate phone calls.
7.Strive to be the first to help a person whom you know in need. Sometimes we can be at the right place at the right time for someone who needs our assistance. You know when these moments happen and you act on them most of the time. Have you ever reached to the top shelf for an elderly lady at the grocery store and graciously smiled when she thanked you? If yes, you most certainly made her feel valued. Keep your eyes and heart open for ways to be helpful in your family and your community. Making another person feel valued will make you feel valued as well.
8.Help people focus on their strengths and assist them in delegating their weaknesses. Most people buy into the notion that they need to work on their weakness, but they will be most valuable in the areas of their strengths. If a person is good at organizing, give them responsibilities in that area. Let them use their unique giftedness to accomplish a task in their way. If a person struggles in the area of public speaking, putting them in front of people may only frustrate them.
9.Comment on someone’s blog or MySpace or preferably Facebook page with kind words and a recommendation for that person and the work he or she is doing. Social networking sites started off being nothing more than personal diaries, but now they are the personal communication medium of choice among the younger generation. Use this form of social media to connect with people and encourage them. Leave them a comment or message in their inbox. If you leave a comment, others will see it as well plus everyone likes to get a new comment on their Facebook site.
10.Send handwritten notes as often as possible. Writing a note out by hand expresses more of a personal touch and a greater investment of time. I keep thank you notes and other small stationary cards in my car and in my kitchen and at my office. This way I can always conveniently jot a note to a special friend. Try to make a habit of making someone aware of their value to you by personally writing a thank you for being you note that is in your own unique penmanship.
Please comment below on how you attract your clients.