Keeping Business Alive

Who is responsible for maintaining the business relationship?

Nurturing a business relationship will take effort on your part and effort on the part of the other person. If you feel the business is worth having, then you must take the time to make sure you are in touch on a regular basis. I call these touch points. Each touch point you have with the client is a point in your favor. Most people like to keep the channels open for conducting current projects or for future business. I know a CEO of a company called Olympia Funding in Pleasanton California that has a policy for sending out personal letters to all his contacts at the end of every month. These are usually in the form of postcards with good information. He also has his staff send "letters from the heart" each quarter. Through this touch point activity and a few other touch points, he is able to do millions of dollars of business without making cold calls. He has the referrals pouring in.

This CEO knows the value of maintaining the business relationship. If a multimillion dollar corporation takes the time to keep in contact, then you know that you must also put a plan together that creates an awareness of you. It is WHO knows YOU and not who you know that ultimately matters. At your next networking event, gather business cards and then make contact through email to set an appointment to find common ground, ask them if you can add them to your mailing list for your newsletter for up to date information that may help them. Take the time to work on being in touch; the results are amazing.

Another good way to nurture a relationship is to find out interests and keep a record of what those interests are. When you come across something of interest, send it to them, they will remember this when it comes to sending out an RFP. It is in your best interest to know more about them than they do about you.

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com

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Small Business Struggles  NBC4 Washington

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