Recently I was talking to a contact, let’s call him Fred, about some work his company had just started. He was really surprised, because he knew that a lot of people had gone for the work and his company was quite a small one. They could do the work, but he was surprised that he had won the work rather than one of the larger, better-known companies. I asked him how he had heard of the work and he said that a business contact had told him, and introduced him to the potential customer. My next question was “How did your contact and the potential customer know each other?” He said that they played golf each week.
Now, assuming that his prices and service provision were similar to all the other potential suppliers there had to be something that gave him the edge. In my opinion, it was that he was connecting with someone who wanted to use his company. Why? Because someone who the potential customer knew and who he met once a week had made the connection. They probably knew each other well and they trusted each other and Fred’s contact was willing to put his reputation on the line by introducing them. That’s why he got the contract. That’s networking.
It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me and my business to know that I fundamentally believe in networking as a powerful marketing tool. It turns cold connections into (at least) warm connections. It puts your company in front of potential customers, even when you are not there. It puts you in front of people you might not have ever met, and it raises your profile. My question who be: Why would you not network?
If you want some networking hints and tips let me help with a gift: my Top 20 networking tips. Just follow this link: ebn.uk.com and complete the form to receive your copy.
Recently I was discussing workload with a business contact. This was, in part, because we were talking about Christmas and the number of extra things that needed to be done. Neither of us had been twiddling our thumbs before Christmas loomed its head! (Full disclosure means I need to say that being on holiday a lot was both wonderful and brought with it challenges of time management. My contact’s business was also growing, bringing with it its own challenges.) We talked about how we were feeling, and we both agreed that we were feeling a bit of pressure.
We began to discuss what we could do to reduce the stress and we both had different ways of dealing with this. For me exercise is my stress reliever. When I exercise, I feel better about myself, more able to deal with stress and tasks. I also do some of my best thinking as a I work out. Often I will do some exercise interspersed with admin tasks, phone calls, invoices etc. My contact had a completely differed way of dealing with his stress.
He said he “Mentally pulled into the sidings”. It was a phrase and a practise that he had learned from his dad and whilst never really analysing what it actually referred to, for him it meant stopping what he was doing and going and just sitting, usually in his garden. He would make a nice hot drink, sometimes some music or an article he wanted to read “when he had a minute” or a chapter of a book he was reading. He had learnt to use this as a way of switching off for a short time.
Although our methods were completely different, we both agreed that allowing that time for ourselves left us feeling better able to deal with the things needing doing. So what is your way of dealing with pressure? Exercise? Pulling into the sidings? Something else?
If one of your pressure is networking let me help with a gift to you: my Top 20 networking tips. Just follow this link: ebn.uk.com and complete the form to receive your copy.