People do business with people they know and like. It’s that simple and yet so complex to build those relations. In a recent workshop one client didn’t know a thing about public relations. He’s a computer geek who is building a business in a personal passion, riding motorcycles. We found commonalities in many of the same people: we used the same branding expert, the same website developers, and we’ve done business with some of the same people for other ventures. He’s a classic case of knowing instinctively well how to connect to people-you talk to them and you ask. For years he didn’t really pay attention to his brother-in-law’s business, insurance. How often do we pay attention to spousal connections? But when he was attending a racing event, turns out his brother-in-law’s company was sponsoring it. That’s when the AHA moment came, plus an opportunity to share his product through the company’s client outreach–hundreds of thousands of prospective clients! What my client knew is you do business with people you know. You start talking to them. See who THEY know and start asking them to connect you.
Happened for me today. Friend of mine knows someone in the field of small business development. Early coffee meeting with him and we realized we both bring value to each others’ operations. Wouldn’t necessarily have gotten the chance to talk to him without the recommendation. What I knew and was so highly reminded of is it pays to keep talking, but to make sure you talk to more than one person at the company. I have been connecting with his colleague, who is the director of training. He has a different role in the office and she didn’t share our relationship. Both offer something different and so have different needs for our services.
So keep talking about your business to people you know–and always keep in the back of your mind how that connection may come in handy one day. Maybe not now, share everyone’s services with others. That matchmaking pays forward and you’ll reap the benefit.