Monday, October 31, 2011

Ingratiating yourself to clients

I have a policy that when a relative of a client passes, I do the writing for free. They don't know it but it's my way of providing comfort during a time of distress. A client's wife died and asked me to help with writing the obituary and to be the liaison with the printer.

While the work was time consuming, in the end I responded to the client's request for an invoice by saying that it was my way of providing comfort and that there would be no charge.

He was so glad...and that made me special in his eyes -- particularly during a time of bereavement. And the relationship was strengthened.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Great networking at...

OK. Maybe not the most glamorous or appealing place for networking but....

I went to the services for a high school chum last Saturday. In addition to getting a chance to see some old friends, I also saw a lot of business prospects. So, I ran to the car and got my business cards...and worked it like it was a networking event.

And guess what! It was! I'm sure the deceased would be pleased to know that, in death, he was helping to make things happen.

I'm not saying that you should troll the newspapers for funerals but, if you have to attend one, make the most out of it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Take a breath

Recently, I met with a client to open an account at a bank where I'm pitching for business. She was completely "discombobulated" and had lost the papers I sent her that we were to sign. I was completely exasperated. Rather than roll my eyes, sigh or exhibit any type of disgust with this "carelessness," I did a mental count to ten and said: "It's all right. I will retrieve a new document and get it to you. When would you like to meet again?"

She seemed totally relieved that I didn't go "off" but remained professional and pleasant. I was looking at the long-term business prospects rather than the short term laxness on her part.

Did I mention that the drive was long to get to her and it was a beautiful day. Now I can sigh and roll my eyes...but not in front of her. Perhaps my generous spirit will reap some rewards. If not, I was able to exercise restraint and patience and that is a personal reward.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Presentations and Quotas

I gave a presentation on Saturday and only four folks showed up, although 40 were promised. So. I presented like there were 400 people there. You can't punish those who made the effort by not giving your all.

HOWEVER, I had to take the coordinator aside and advise her on how far off the mark she was and I gave her strategies on how to make sure members come...even on sunny days in October.

provide an incentive - members compete for awards and attending this event could have been positioned as an event that would go towards getting that end-of-year award
serve food and publicize that - OK. Food is always an incentive
do follow up calls
raffle a prize for those who attend - announce that upfront

She asked me to come back. I turned her offer down..for now. After all, I sacrificed a balmy day in October and, based on that track record, I'm not apt to come any time soon.