We all want to stand out. We want people to pick us...in life and in business. However, getting “picked” by a client isn’t good enough. Instead of looking for CLIENTS…focus on making FRIENDS.
People refer business to people they connect with. If you approach situations in your career from the perspective of “how can I get this person to do business with me?”, then that ‘vibe’ is very likely going to come across in your conversations. Remember the old saying, “It is better to give than to receive?”. Well, that’s true in marketing your career as well. So…let’s explore how to make friends.
1- ) Look for ways to provide value to people: This might take the form of helping them achieve a goal or make a connection with someone that you know that they want to meet. Maybe it’s as simple as writing them a recommendation or endorsing them on their website. To make friends, above all else, you must be genuine. You must genuinely want to help other succeed whether they generate business for you or not. Look for ways to help others, connect others or assist others. Go above and beyond.
2-) Listen To People: It’s amazing how much you learn when you are listening. Don’t listen with the focus of answering. Instead, listen to the person you are interacting with. Develop your responses based on their goals. Look for ways to help them based on what they are expressing whether it is helping them in business, in life, with their kids, with their home or whatever else is important to them. Adjust yourself to the person you are speaking with and take your focus off your agenda and shift it to their needs.
3-) Connect On Media: Does the person you just met have a business? What would you do for a friend if they started a business? Write them a review! Share their posts or events on your social media! Send them a referral and ‘tag’ (on Facebook) them in an introduction to a person they may want to meet. Social media provides a unique and impactful platform for business because of its visibility. Endorsing someone or sharing their work, tagging them or making an introduction for them over social media not only helps increase their visibility…..it also helps boost yours.
4-) Say “Thank You” And Provide Exceptional Service: Manners are a lost art for so many people today. It’s amazing how thanking someone can have a huge impact. When someone endorses you or makes an introduction for you…thank them! When your new friends think of you and send you a referral…thank them! Providing exceptional service of course applies to taking care of the clients they share with you…but it also goes beyond that. Don’t just handle the referrals your new friend shares with you…become friends with the people who are passed to you as referrals. Show them the same care, focus, and attention that you do to your friend that referred them to you. Treat everyone as a future friend.
The awesome thing about making friends over searching for clients is that friends look for ways to help you. It becomes a relationship instead of a transaction. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship that is focused on helping others grow. Generating business becomes a by-product when people become the focus.
So today…go make a friend! And remember to say “thank you”.