I started out in the insurance industry but please do not hold that against me. I think that the insurance industry gets a really bad reputation for being snake oil salesman. I think that also goes for real-estate agents and other over populated fields that people do not require training to get into. The industry however is still full of extremely professional people that have a desire to make money by providing protection to other people. I think that also goes for most industries. One thing I learned was that even though most of my production time was spent in front of my computer, I still needed in person relationships. One of my business mentors pushed that in order to build my business I had to build relationships and threw me in front of some people. They looked at me as though as had something helpful to say, so I had no choice but to open my mouth and communicate. It was the beginning of a professional relationship with clients.
While understanding the power of web presence, I have to admit that networking or relationship marketing is just as commanding. There is nothing more promising than to have a person we trust recommending a company’s products or services based on their personal experience. If it’s your small business there is a lot more you can do to help build that trust, by establishing good will and credibility.
If you feel uncomfortable about meeting in person as I did in the beginning, prepare for the meeting by having a list of questions ready to ask about their business. Showing genuine interest in the other person, giving them a better impression as opposed to talking about yourself the entire visit. I think that questions go a long way to creating a better understanding of what a referral partner can bring to the table. Plus the better I understand your business the greater effect I will have on the people I refer to you.
Don’t hesitate to keep in touch with your new SouthStar Capital Account Executive by sending an email with an interesting piece of information. If you have a client referral give us as much information as you can on the client. This way when we write hand written thank you notes for something they did, it will be well-received. If the person gave you an excellent referral that turned into a sale, sending them a personalized gift is appropriate. It demonstrates your appreciation. Keep your relationship fresh with a phone call when you know it won’t be a disruption. Whenever possible, return the favor by referring potential clients to them.
You have likely heard the stories of some of the biggest business deals being done on the golf course. Remember the adage that “people do business with people they know, like and trust.” If a business owner sees that you are consistently trying to promote them your credibility grows stronger. Whenever you learn of an opportunity that could help your associate, be sure to extend them an invitation. Introduce them to other business people to increase their visibility.
I am involved in a number of service organizations in my community and I make a point to invite new small and medium business owners to make presentations. Social media networks such as Facebook is another way to promote your business associates but I always carry a few business cards from several other companies to give to people I meet that might require those services. Facebook and LinkedIn cannot accomplish that for you. My attitude is that when we have the willingness to help others do well with their business finances, we all succeed.
In closing if there is any way that SouthStar Capital can help you to grow your business please do not hesitate to give us a call or send an email at 843-277-6449 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to check out our website anytime for more information about our people and our products. Until I speak to you again I wish you great success and always remember that information+application=transformation.