If you’re old school you may have been taught by a mentor, “Don’t mix business with pleasure!” You may have been told that you’re only asking for trouble, becoming friends with someone who you’re doing business with.
I completely disagree.
1. We live in a social age
People are into social today, so it’s only natural that you would talk about business while socializing. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you do for a living over drinks with friends or people you just meet. And, don’t be afraid to take your clients our or have a cocktail with them so you can get to know them better. Socializing can lead to business for you! (Trust me, it’s how I get the majority of my business now!)
2. Building relationships is building business
Every person you speak to is a potential client, even if you have nothing in common. Many of my clients come from friends who I’ve met online and I’ve built relationships over time. Then, as we get to know each other, we talk more about what we do and our respective needs. This can eventually turn into business.
3. This is how you get referrals
You tell someone and then they tell someone and then they tell someone. Yes, it really does still work this way. So, while you’re taking current clients to dinner or you’re at a networking event, don’t be afraid to talk about the projects you’re working on. Even if no one has a need to hire you right then, it will still stick in their mind. Then, when one of their family members is talking about something they need, their mind will trigger and they’ll say, “Hey, I know a person who can do that for you!”
4. It’s fun
Don’t be afraid to have fun with perspective clients or other business people. Head out to do something really silly like karaoke where you can all get a good laugh. Doing something like this loosens people up and that’s how you’ll really get to know each other. Just watch the cocktail intake and you’ll be fine.
Author: Jacqueline Wilson