Frequently people tell me how easy it is for me, because I know so many people. It’s easy for me to reach out and find information, opportunities, references, resources, volunteers, etc. This is probably one of the things I have had to work at more than any other. But over the years I have learned from individuals who are extremely talented at developing strong networks a few techniques. My ability to quickly adopt technology has actually given me an edge on their techniques. Making immediate notes on contact records when I meet someone – I tend to write down anything that might be beneficial; children’s names, sports they played, teams they played on, spouses name, church they attend, non-profits they are involved with, family connections to organizations, favorite foods, favorite restaurants . . .
One customer came infrequently to our office. His business wasn’t massive, but he was a customer that frequently priced the business – this sent our team scrambling EVERY print project to secure the business. My boss mentioned that he was coming in the next week and we were going to try and secure a contract so we wouldn’t be constantly scrambling to price the business. I went and checked my contact notes for the customer. When he had come in once he mentioned that he didn’t liked our candy dish, but we needed Jelly Belly’s those were his favorite. I went out and bought a large bag of Jelly Belly’s and several small tupperware containers. Then I designed a label with the company name, logo, and his name which I attached to each container along with a tag for several locations around the plant. The day he was coming in I placed the containers with Jelly Belly’s around the facility, at locations where he would be customer wait area, conference room, plant, etc. As he was shown around the facility he was offered HIS Jelly Belly’s at all locations and informed that we would have them filled whenever he was in the facility. He loved the fact that we remembered. While he was with that company there was a lot less price competition mentioned, and he actually started coming to our facility a little more frequently. We followed through and made certain the tupperware was filled and were rewarded with a stronger relationship. It wasn’t the jelly beans – it was remembering the insignificant.
This Entrepreneur article talks about the value of networking. Are you spending enough time developing a strong network for your organization’s future? If you don’t have the time or personnel to spare working on that consider hiring A2DM to allow us to develop and enhance your digital network. We can even coordinate this with an email marketing campaign to take full advantage of the contacts developed.