With millions of people out of work and those with businesses struggling to hang on, the question becomes
When does looking for work get in the way of working?
For today’s business person, going out and talking with people and networking with other business people is becoming more of the normal business day where as before it was only about 10% of a business week. Unfortunately, the day to day operations or maintenance of the business is dropped for the extra time it is taking to go to watery egg breakfasts and rubber chicken luncheon to network. This is risky since those that find work need to be prepared to take it and do it efficiently to keep from losing it to someone who is better prepared.
So how do you go about finding business so you can go back to keeping your business ready to take on the next project?
The answer is found in who you are networking with and where you are networking. Over 80% of business people I have survived seldom go back to previous customers or clients to visit with them on possible more business or just put the word out that you are looking for more business. Why? 30% feel it shows a sign of weakness to go back to a customer to visit for any reason. 40% feel asking a customer to pass the word that your are open for more business is a sign of failure. And the remaining 20% have reasons like they have lost touch or have already sapped their previous customers too much for leads for business when the economy was good.
Going back to a customer to visit or network would not be nearly as traumatic if it had been part of the business’ operations from the beginning. Having a regular scheduled time to visit your customers is even better which brings up the next concern with the quality of the business networking…the place you are networking with your customers.
Taking your customer out for a round of golf gives you plenty of time to get your message across while finding out how their business is doing…or course all this is done after the golf and not during the golf.
What about the non-golfing customers?
Have the the non-golfers join you and your golfing customers after the golf and have group meetings so you can network with more than one customer at a time..and they can network with other business people.
But you say..I don’t want my customers to mingle with each other…my questions then is WHY?
There really is no excuse when it comes time to doing business or networking with previous customers or clients. At the very least it is a professional courtesy to your clients for being a customer of yours.
So, take advantage of the closes business network you have..your customers and then get back to work. Let me know how I can help.