When attracting new business it is wise to build personal relationships with the people you interact with the most, whether it’s a business partner or a potential long term client. While it is important to be focused on the core business issues at hand during a conversation with a business partner or a new client, spending a few minutes to gather some personal information and being conscious of building a personal relationship will ensure that special connections can be made.
While a personal relationship does not always immediately attract new business it can be the difference in closing a deal or getting a business referral later down the road. Leverage your personal relationship in marketing strategies to reach new clients, especially through social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Focus on the most important details for a person and make them feel special to attract new business through personal relationships.
Details To Capture
During a business meeting there is often personal information that is shared either in the first few minutes before the meeting gets going or during the meeting when used to discuss a specific issue. Be aware of these details and jot them down in your notepad to record later. It’s important when meeting with someone that could be a business partner or long term client to be focused on developing a personal connection. Personal connections not only help you with the business transaction that is on the table at the time, but can assist in attracting new business down the road as well as build your own network of contacts.
The following details are often openly discussed and can be used to make a personal connection:
- Name of spouse – If someone mentions they are planning a birthday or anniversary for their spouse, write that down, if you are still doing business with that person in a year sending a message to say happy anniversary or birthday will be a surprise to them and be something that will help solidify a personal relationship.
- Special Dates – Be aware of any special days that are mentioned as being important to the person and jot this down. Can be a birthday for themselves or the kids, anniversary, or special holidays etc.
- Family names – Write down the names of children and ages also note down any specific activities. If someone mentions one of their kids is playing sports and they will be at a game that weekend, make sure to ask how Jimmy or Sally did in there game that weekend when you talk next. Showing that you care about what is important to them outside of the work environment is really important to create a relationship that is distinguishable from a standard working relationship.
- Favorite Activities – Learning what a person does in their free time gives you a reason to start off the next conversation with a topic that the person enjoys. An example would be if someone mentions that they were out fishing the previous weekend and you are meeting a few weeks later, asking if they got a chance to get out on the water shows you care to understand about what they are passionate about. This is the same if someone mentions they like going to music shows or seeing sporting events, finding out what a person enjoys and bringing it up during the informal parts of a meeting can forge the personal connection that leads to more business later.
Leverage Personal Relationships
Leveraging personal relationships in business to attract new clients is important. Most people that are active in social media and a business professional will have a LinkedIn account. Getting access to someone’s LinkedIn account by allowing them to connect with you is important even if it’s a purely business relationship. However if you can become friends with someone on Facebook the likely hood you can generate more business from them increases as most people are more reserved in who they will friend on Facebook versus LinkedIn. Depending on your business marketing strategy Facebook can be effective, but only if you have the friends that are the right people that can actually either act on the business opportunity or have people as friends that would make a business referral.
Getting your personal relationships to help attract new business for your business is the ultimate goal of spending the time necessary to build real relationships with people versus superficial ones or business only connections.
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.
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