I just took another step forward in growing my business. I submitted 3 quotes per requests I received and I have gained another client and can envision how my business is going to move forward in 2009. I have many paths I can take, lots of choices .., now I have to prioritize and focus for the coming year.
I am also in the process of referring someone I recently met through social networking who is fully qualified to provide a specialized service to one of my clients. I would not have been able to refer her had she not contacted me a few weeks ago to ask me the question, “how shall I market my business – can you make any suggestions?” Not only did I give her suggestions including social networking, but I took some time to familiarize myself with her Company and what her product or service is.
When I had a local business, i joined almost every networking group that existed in my community. I went not once but as often as they met – weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. After the first few meetings, people began to recognize me and my business. I always walked in the door with 3 things in mind – practicing the delivery of my “message” about my buisness, meeting new people and getting to know what their businesses were – product or service – and establishing a reputation for good business ethics. If I made an appointment to meet for coffee with a member, I kept the appointment. If I had a referral for them, I delivered it by phone or email. If I volunteered to give them reference information (a website) or contact info. for another business), I delivered as promised. But now that I have a business I conduct over the internet, I do the same networking, however, it is through “groups” on-line. When networking, I am glad to assist anyone who asks for help (if I can) and I do not “expect” to get clients immediately. Forming business relationships can take time, similar to personal relationships. And it may not be the person you meet either over the internet or in a community meeting…..they may have no need of your product/service but they might just know someone who does. I don’t know about others, but I rarely recommend someone unless I am confident that they will do their best to meet the needs of the client that I refer to them. If I hand out a referral and then hear back that the Company didn’t call them back or made promises they didn’t keep or provided a product or service that was inferior or did not make sure the customer was satisfied, then I will not refer to that business again. On the other hand, if the feedback sounds like this, “I am so glad you referred me to _____. They did an excellent job! Thank you again for referring me!” you know I am going to make that referral again…
I already know that this coming week will be even more productive for me. How about you… are you working toward your goals?
Diane L. Coville