If you fail to foster the growth of prospect relationships now you won’t have anyone to call on when your well dries up.
It is mission critical to dedicate all the time needed to properly serve your current customers. This is a good business decision and is expected by your clients. As a small business owner your plate is already full. It is easy to minimize the importance of creating and building new relationships simply because there seems to be no time to do it.
This could be a grave mistake. If you don’t keep new customers coming through the door you may one day find yourself without any new ones. Depending on what product or service you sell, not fostering the growth of new relationships could dampen the success of your company.
I said most of this in a previous post. Some things bear repeating.
Still Fostering Growth…
Take the action!
Earlier this week I wrote a blog post (read it here) about the different types of people who attend networking events. One of the comments I received was about the necessity for follow-up. I could not agree more – it is a key element to making the investment of your time worthwhile.
Making a “connection” at a networking event is great but if you do not begin to cultivate that connection and turn it into a working relationship nothing will happen. Wherever you make your initial introduction – events, cold calling, direct marketing, etc. – it will be of little value unless you to continue to engage.
I think I will add a 5th group to my list of types of people at networking events:
The Winner – this person immediately followed up on the quick connections they made at the event. Why are they the winner? Because they are the ones turning those connections into relationships.
My Take: A five minute discussion at a networking event will not land you a big contract. Cultivating a relationship you started at a networking event just might. Take the action!
As a small business owner your time is so valuable. You are trying to wear 20 different on any given day. If you attend networking events one of your goals was to try and make more than one connection at a time. Don’t waste the time you spent! Follow Up. Make the most of it. Some connections may turn out to be nothing but with a wasted follow-up opportunity you will never know.
Just a thought…
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.