Technology evolves daily, but the importance of relationships remains the same. No matter what happens out there in the marketing world, the way to great business remains this: it’s who you know, what you know, and what they think of you. So treat them well. Exclamation mark.
As social media grows and face to face time becomes less, communication with your business peeps is critical. Clients, venders, peers – all viable contract getters. Technology addiction mistake number one: Never lose sight of personal communication and relationships. You know, face to face. Hard to believe, but not everyone is on Facebook and Twitter as much as you and I. And even if they are, let’s face it – it can be so impersonal. It’s almost like letting your voicemail pick up your calls. People still respond to those who are responsive and take the time to get to know them.
Let’s not call this “Business Development” anymore. Let’s call it what it is: Relationship Building. It’s very similar to how you would treat your friends, or say, a potential date. Well, friends and dates that decide your cash flow. You must court them. A little rusty? It’s so simple, really.
Remember these four:
Send them informative articles and links that pertain specifically to their lives – professional and personal interests. But unless you want to make their junk mail folder or circular file, don’t send it just to send it. Make sure it fits or else it just wastes their time. No one likes a stalker.
Hang on to those coffee and lunch meetings, and do it regularly. The keep in contact rule of thumb is this: face to face every three months, phone calls every six to eight weeks, a relevant email every two to three weeks. Invitation to incredible events – freely.
Network and develop business for them, even if it doesn’t benefit you. If you know someone that they ought to know, make the connection. Hook them up.
And the final four: Be interested. Be genuine. Be thoughtful. Be yourself. These relationships are your alliances. Alliances get you business. See how that works?
So ditch the “I’ll dazzle them with my social media and marketing prowess” attitude and remember your basic relationship skills. Your next contract – or significant other – might depend on it.
Jennifer Stinnett is founder of eJenn Solutions, Inc. She shares social media marketing tips and ideas for small businesses. Be sure to check out eJenn Solution's how to's on the eJenn Solutions YouTube channel!