I hear you.
It’s tough. Sales are not as abundant as they were a couple of years ago. You have to fight for every contract you get. I know – I’m there with you.
As an entrepreneur of many years, I’ve seen the ‘feast and famine’ cycle that our economy loops through. Some years are more lean than others and this year has been one of the leanest.
As an entrepreneur I know that we have the means to create and retain business because we are not burdened with a gigantic overhead or boardrooms filled with stockholders shaking their heads because sales are down. We are in charge.
Every day is an opportunity for a fresh start – a new beginning.
Every day we have choices to make. We can choose what action to take, the direction we want to go in and the people we want to go with.
More than ever, especially in these tough economic times, connections and relationships are worth their weight in gold. No amount of cold calling, sales promotions, or advertising will equal the amount of business you can acquire from someone who knows you, trusts you and will recommend you to their customers.
These are the people you want to be with. These are the people you want to do business with.
Have you connected with your clients recently? Just to say hello and to remind them that you are still IN business? To say thanks for past/present/future business? That you’re there for them?
Apathy, under the guise of “time is money,” plays a big part in today’s business world. Companies don’t care so employees don’t care and as a result, customers don’t care. When was the last time you heard from your grocery store that they appreciated your business?
Do you have a loyalty to any particular company or store? I bet you do.
"Every day is an opportunity for a fresh start – a new beginning."
Chances are it’s because a person, yes, a living person, took the time to help you, advise you or thank you. Case in point: I go to a certain printer for all my printing needs because Alice works there. Alice knows me by name and always has time for a bit of conversation. Alice asks the questions that will ensure that my job is done correctly the first time AND if I have a rush job, she always finds some way to get it done for me.
Yes, there is a store of the same company that is closer to me. Yes, there are other local printers I know through the Chamber of Commerce. However, Alice is the only one who has made me feel special, like my business means something to her. She doesn’t own the store, she has no shares in the company (that I know of!) and she gets paid by the hour.
Choose to nurture and build upon the relationships that you have already created. As I said before, no amount of cold calling, promotions or advertisements will generate anywhere near the amount of new business that your connections will.
Tomorrow is a fresh start. You have a clean slate. What will you choose to do?
My suggestion is to make three phone calls and tell those clients that you appreciate their business and that you’re there for them. No sales pitch, just a conversation. Do the same with three more clients the next day.
And the next. It’s not what you know or who you know, it’s who knows you AND what you can do for them.
It’s your choice.
Now Go Get Connected!
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