A follow up to “Where to Begin? Business Planning 2017”
Your circle, friends and family, sphere of influence, funnel-filler, pipeline… these are the folks who will contribute to your success.
Some of us have a larger pool to draw from than others, but everyone has a pool. With our population becoming more transient, it is common to find yourself starting over in a new place and feeling like you have no human resources from which to draw. There are tons of resources available, if you’re researching ways to connect and grow your sphere. For a list of great ideas to get you started, click here.
Take note of #30, at the bottom of the list. Speaking from experience, this isn’t random filler, passed off as helpful suggestions. I finally realized that the flexibility my job offered was great, but working from home constantly made it impossible for me to connect with people and grow my business. I started heading to the company office a few times a week, sometimes to work, sometimes to pop in and check my mailbox and *usually* dressed as if I were on my way to an important meeting. On the way there, I stopped at the same 7–11, to grab gas or coffee. After a while, the “thank you, come again” from the manager, turned into casual conversation, which turned into questions, then trust and, ultimately, an actual closed sale. Just by getting out of the house, I built a relationship with a [former] stranger, increased my circle of friends and had the opportunity to do the job I love.
Depending on your line of work, your proximity to these people may or may not be a factor but, regardless of distance, they need to know that they matter to you. No matter how great your product is, no one wants to buy it from a smarmy jerk. Building relationships will build your business so, regardless of your industry, recommit yourself to being in the Business of People. Eric Cosway was featured on Inman News, discussing basic ways to connect and engage in a meaningful way. Check out his ideas here!
The other group of people to whom you should pay attention, consists of everyone on Earth that you haven’t met. It’s a pretty big group to manage effectively, so narrow your focus to an area where the people are likely to need your good or service. This may mean sending direct mail to a particular neighborhood or zip code, running radio ads at certain times of day, or sponsoring a Little League team. You have to keep expanding and introducing yourself to people for your business to grow. Besides, Little League is awesome.
Continue to add to your list of peeps, make yourself available to new friends, and be ready to help them when the time comes!