Over and over again I have suggested, implored, and taught business owners to meet others one-on-one and get to know them before attempting to sell them anything. People purchase from those whom they know, like, and trust. They also refer business to those whom they know, like, and trust. How can anyone fit into that scenario if we don’t get to know them and allow them to know us first?
In the past weeks I met another business person on LinkedIn who is not located in my immediate geographical area. We had a great conversation via telephone (yes, we actually spoke with each other in lieu of texting) and agreed to meet face-to-face when I was planning to travel closer to where he is located. He was definitely in agreement with the philosophy to get to know each other better without “selling” to each other.
So, we planned, and executed a coffee shop meeting in his geographical area and had an excellent chat with each other. We talked about how we came to where we are in business, our personal lives, and what we were looking to accomplish in our futures. We discussed common ground areas in business, business philosophy, and how we deal with mutual challenges. We got to know each other better than we could have otherwise.
We did share the details of what we do in business and gave each other examples of opportunities which might interest each other. These included networking opportunities, actual business opportunities, and shared knowledge about specific items of importance. It was an excellent example of the type of meeting that should always take place between business people who have recently met and want to build a relationship which should help move each other to have success.
This type of meeting requires some work on the part of the participants. We did some research on each other prior to the meeting, including reviewing each other’s LinkedIn profiles, websites, business history, and any other material available. Based on what we learned from this research, and our previous telephone conversation, we had a running start for our one-on-one conversation.
As business owners, all of us must develop new prospects and move those prospects to the category of customers and even further to become clients. Can we benefit from people who are not our customers, perhaps not even prospects for whatever products or services that we offer? Of course we can; they can become networking partners who advise us, suggest opportunities to us, and refer others to us who are prospects for us and whatever we do offer. This is just the group to which Gratitude Marketing is so applicable, in addition to being appropriate for our customers.
Gratitude Marketing means that we develop relationships with other people who may be prospects for our businesses and who can benefit from whatever we offer. Gratitude Marketing also means developing relationships with those who may never become our prospects or customers but will assist us in building our business success. They are our networking partners and our mutually benefiting relationship is the essence of great business. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.