Go outside and play!
By Chuck Sink
Hitting the road for events and field appointments burns more time than anything else in business. You might feel more productive in the office analyzing CRM data, having meetings or constantly tooting your own horn on your own social channels. There in the comfort of home base you feel more in control of things; that you’re spending less money and being more efficient with time. Why drive to see a client when you can pick up the phone or make a Skype call? Why attend a business expo when you could launch an eblast?
Ask yourself this. Would you even have an office if someone didn’t go out and make deals with your firm’s clients? Would your top competitor have as much of your market share had he hunkered down in his office while you were meeting with his client instead of him?
You get the idea, right? With any service or product requiring service, people prefer doing business with professional people who are already with them rather than chase down a supplier from some little message seen flashing on a screen.
People who experience success with business networking (that is, all those who actually practice the art) know that most of their earnings come as a result of the relationships they form face to face – in the flesh. Every time you decide to blow off your association or industry networking event, you can be guaranteed zero new connections and no enhanced friendships. Deals will surely be made there, just not with you.
In the virtual world, blogging and developing valuable content only works when you share it out there in the virtual field – on other peoples’ sites and channels. Go ahead and post content on your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages to keep your own sites interesting, dynamic and relevant. Then share that content in as many OTHER places as you find appropriate. Look for social-business influencers in your market and engage them online. Ultimately you want to extend that online engagement to a meeting. Make a new friend (psst: friends are automatic referral partners).
Post an update on your LinkedIn profile. Then, if it’s relevant, post it as a discussion topic or question on your LinkedIn Group pages.
Read a great blog? Post a thoughtful comment, compliment the author and share the post with those groups who would appreciate it.
Two pronged action steps:
Get up off your ergonomically designed chair and go to where the action is on a regular basis. Ignore the tyranny of time while you’re in productive dialog with customers and industry leaders.
Get out of your social media digital comfort zone. Venture out to the top influencer channels and blogs to participate in their discussions. Bring them valuable content worth sharing and talking about. Before long you’ll be one of the best known influencers in your market with the roster of clients to prove it.