Are you one of those people that say hello to everyone in the street whether you know them or not? I am most certainly that kind of person and it always amazes my wife when we are out together as to how I know so many people. The truth is that I don’t go out and try to know tons of people I just try to be a happy person. So you are probably wondering what this has to do with business? It has everything to do with business, these days business is everywhere, on the street, in the grocery store, and in the workplace. As more of us start to look for ways to get out of that dreaded office commute and technology affords us greater detachment from the office you will find more people out of the workplace that you can connect with. As an entrepreneur I am always in client attraction mode even if it is out on a leisurely walk. Now don’t worry if you see me walking down your street I won’t accost you but I will probably say hello. Most of us are looking for ways to market our business to others, but very few realize how a sales cycle works so they separate their marketing efforts. If they are out for a leisurely stroll they don’t say hi because they don’t want to think of work, however in work mode their hands start to sweat, and they foam at the mouth looking for prospects. Does that ever work?
I have met more people walking each morning around my neighbourhood, Usually it starts with hello a couple of times, then an introduction at a later date. Here is an example, my wife and I were walking on our usual route one Sunday when a man was unloading his car. He owned a catering business as the name was splashed all over the side of his vehicles, so as we walked by I said hello and then asked from afar, “So how’s the catering business these days?” Being a caricature artist he may have clients looking for entertainment for a venue. He dropped what he was doing and talked with us for nearly thirty minutes discussing our businesses. I didn’t have a card on me so told him I would drop off a package with my services at a later date. I dropped the package off a week later in his mailbox and got a call two weeks later about the possibilities of working on a project together. This is not unusual for me, all because I looked cheerful and said hello. The point of this is that being nice to people should be your first marketing strategy, as I tell people in my seminars, “Don’t try so hard!” Your next client may be right outside your front door.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant for businesses. More information can be found on his website at www.outridge.ca