The Case for Networking
“I should do more networking but____”.
We’ve all said and heard this before but I submit that in the technology top-heavy world in which we live, in person networking is more important than ever. Email, voice mail, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other technological breakthroughs may have made it easier to reach new contacts but also made it harder to cultivate business relationships. The irony is the more we use technology to be efficient the more important an old fashioned face to face conversation becomes.
Yes, it takes time to network but break down the numbers and suddenly it’s not so daunting. In fact it’s quite productive. If you average just one networking event per week, that’s 50 in a year, allowing for two weeks’ vacation. If you make six good contacts per event, follow up and get a meeting with half of those contacts you’ll have three good meetings. If half those meetings result in great networking contacts you’ll average 1.5 long term networking contacts per week. You’ve just picked up 75 contacts a year that can either refer business to you or turn into business themselves. Do you think if you made 75 new solid business contacts per year your business would increase?
Take a few minutes today and look for networking events in your area.
Does your business suffer from ‘Cell Phone Syndrome’?
I don’t mean do your employees use their mobile phones at work. I mean does your business employ a strategy where new clients are given the world and your existing clients are taken for granted? Wireless companies will give you the moon and the stars to sign with them but after a few years do you get any consideration at all? Usually not. Unless you threaten to leave and sometimes not even then. Rough words, I know. But take a step back and look at your revenue streams and where the main thrust of your sales and marketing efforts are aimed. There is no doubt that every business must obtain new clients, customers, patients or whatever you call those who pay for your product or service, but every business loses at least some business every year.
Think of it like a cup with a hole in the bottom. Your goal is to increase the water level. The incoming business is the water poured into the cup. The outgoing business is coming out of the bottom. You need not be a rocket scientist to know that if you keep the water flow at the top the same but make the hole smaller the cup will fill faster. What if you were able to focus the same effort on new business while saving and growing business from existing accounts. When Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks he responded, “Because that’s where the money is.” Your current clientele already know you and are doing business with you. Why not show them a little more love and watch your revenue grow?
Business School + Sales = Huh? (or, ‘what you don’t know about sales can be hazardous to your business)
An article in the July-August 2012 Harvard Business Review revealed that of the 479 accredited business programs at universities in the U.S., only 101 have a sales curriculum (21%), and a mere 15 offer either an MBA or some sort of sales-oriented graduate curriculum (3%).
Amazing and typical at the same time. The article goes on to explain that most business school curricula were created when the vast majority of students had been in the working world and were coming back to school to earn MBA’s to round out their professional skills. The boom in MBA programs led to more and more students going directly to graduate school. The rise of marketing as a discipline made an MBA in marketing much more attractive (and vague) than learning how to directly sell something. Talk about generals fighting the last war.
This translates into the real world in those who are excellent in their professions but have no expertise in developing business. The Accountant that strikes out on his or her own and the Attorney who worked 80 hours a week to become a partner only to realize they now have rainmaker responsibilities are but two examples.
Many years ago a company I was working for brought in a very successful college baseball coach who began his presentation by reminding us that everyone in the audience was the result of a sale. It made sense then and it makes more sense now.
Waverider Communciations Opens Boston Office
Announcing the opening of Waverider Communications’ new Boston office! The office is located in Suite 1702 at 265 Franklin Street. The new phone number is 617-963-5291. “Our relocation to Boston is the next logical step in Waverider’s development”, said President & CEO Robert J. Simpson, “The new office will help us to serve our clients better and we look forward to being a part of the Boston business community as we begin what I believe will be an outstanding year for the region.”
Waverider Announces Completion of Video Project
Waverider Communications is proud to announce completion of our latest project, a video production for Falcon Global Edge. This is a great way to utilize video for sales and marketing efforts. It is one part of a cohesive, multi-platform approach to marketing, promotion and advertising.
Know Thy Audience
Any time you try to communicate a thought to a person or group of people you should follow the first and most important commandment of communication: Know Thy Audience. Your kids don’t need to hear how brake pads need to be replaced. They need to know you took the time to get the car fixed so you can take them to the beach. The same applies to business communication. Don’t get caught up in jargon. People don’t need or want the technological process that produced your new widget. They want to know how this new widget will make their lives and/or jobs better. Always think of your audience and tell them what THEY want to know. If they want technical specifics believe me, they’ll ask.