Merriam- Webster says to cultivate is “to foster the growth of…”
I was talking with a client of mine today about a new client she just brought on board. Her exact quote was “it takes time to cultivate these relationships. I have been talking with this person for six months and just now he is sending business my way.”
Fostering the growth of (or cultivating) relationships not only with existing clients but with people who could become clients down the road is a key element to growing a sustainable business. As a small business owner it is almost impossible to find time to do the daily work you have to keep with and try to foster relationships that may or may not produce a new client down the road.
- Set aside a specific amount of time each week to find and cultivate relationships outside of your current client base (an hour per day or lunch once per week or every Friday afternoon, etc.)
- Continue to foster the relationships with the most potential (your time is valuable, spend it wisely)
- Talk with a marketing coach for some creative ideas to foster the growth of new relationships
Don’t miss the importance of this one – if you fail to foster the growth of prospect relationships now you won’t have anyone to call on when your well dries up.