Monday, September 21, 2009

Networking in the 21st Century

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend and the beginning of this week is finding you well.

I had a great little weekend getaway in Nashville, TN and had a fantastic time playing music, visiting friends, visiting my brother, and just generally taking it easy. I love the music scene down there (not just country) and always have a blast, coming back more inspired than the time before.

Upon coming back to Indy, I had a 5 hour drive by and got to thinking about how networking has been a wonderful part of my friendships and business world. While in Nashville, I ran in to friends that I met through other friends, which in essence is my personal network. I had a blast with those particular people and that might not have happened had I not known those friends that introduced me to these people. In my business world, right now I'm finding that I've gotten pretty good at keeping my customers and also growing my business through networking and simply asking for referrals. It's as easy as telling my customer, "hey, if you have friends or cohorts that you think could benefit from the offer that I gave you, let them know and I'll give them the same deal." This has been very successful. I have to give credit where credit is due as well and mention that you have to have a great management structure in place as well and I do. My regional manager is incredible at giving us the opportunity to attract business if we manage the profits in a reasonable manner. Lehman's terms: we can discount costs and pricing as long as it makes sense and we're making money. Great stuff.

What I've learned: As a result of some great referral sources lately, I've found that treating each as an equal is a great idea when the people you are dealing with have referred friends and they will more than likely compare their deal. Be careful about this because it can bite you in the rear if you don't treat them the same. I find this pretty easy as I have a set offer that I give them and have little wiggle room from there. If you offer the best deal you have up front and tell them that you're a no-nonsense sales person, they respect that and understand when you're pricing is much better than the competition.

At any rate, I am really enjoying the fact that I'm meeting tons of new people and finding great new ways of creating business. This is the stuff that makes me excited about my job and keeps me going strong.

I hope you all find that networking will help you and let me know if you have something to add.


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