There are not many amongst us who relish the challenge of getting all dressed up for a night out at a singles bar hoping to find a soul mate, only to return home blaming the organisers, the venue, the aftershave, the music and the new suit for the lack of any suitable partners.
But this is exactly the same situation you put yourself into when looking for new business. If you jump into unfamiliar territory and try constantly to introduce yourself to complete strangers the process will be painful and unfulfilling.
Think about how you met your partner, wife or husband? It was probably through a friend and you went out with a group of friends to somewhere fun, you had a reason to be there and shared an interest. After a couple of dates, you realised that you has something in common and enjoyed each other’s company and the rest … as they say is history.
Now apply this to your business development strategy and you will quickly realise the benefits of targeting and segmenting your prospective clients into groups to whom you must convey the same message “I’d like to know more about you” in a number of different ways.
Remember once you have started that initial introduction, you must stay in touch, keep reminding them of the services you offer, make news relevant to their interests and get personal. Make it enjoyable and your prospective clients will want to know more about you as now you have their permission to actively ‘market’ yourselves to them.
Five simple steps to developing a long-term relationship:
1. offer an incentive to prospective clients – give them something of unique value
2. as you now have their attention, use it to keep them up to date with your news (but keep it relevant)
3. ensure you keep the momentum going and listen to your prospective clients needs
4. really get to know the individual and turn strangers into friends
5. over time use the knowledge gathered to change their perception of you into becoming their best friend
Try it, you have nothing to lose and if you examine your best client relationships you will almost certainly identify with the above.