Combining a social element with business invites creative thought. Consider how you may mix the two for a fuller sales pipeline.
On occasion, I will go out to coffee or lunch with a business associate to catch up on the news or become more familiar with one another. Invariably, new ideas arise that promote motivation for pursuing next steps. In the meantime, we enjoy the ambiance of the environment and further build our friendship.
Last week’s casual lunch shed light on how much an associate and I have in common of a personal nature. And by the time we parted, I was provided with two ideas that are currently in the research stage. On my end, an offer of introductions was made for when the time is right. At the end of lunch, we both eagerly agreed to meet socially for business on an on-going basis.
Some companies similarly mirror the idea of engaging in social activities to encourage creative thought. One such non-profit sent invitations for a Happy-Hour get-together to all its members in the area. It has been a long while since we have seen one another. With delicious food in hand, and reconnecting, the conversation promises to be highly energetic.
There is a note of caution, and that is to be careful with the amount of alcohol one consumes. I have been witness to social events where egotistical salespeople and management gave away inside information. After the fact, they lost business, and one person was put on notice regarding his job.
The best plan of action for growing sales is to combine social with business with the purpose of becoming familiar with the people involved. Relationship selling gets the results you seek.
Pressure can be fierce in the corporate environment to make your numbers. For entrepreneurs stress is sometimes quite high with the fear of not bringing in enough business. These two states of mind often contribute to focusing strictly on the sale and not the person. The lack of being professionally personal has prospective clients questioning the motive and trustworthiness for doing business.
Consider if you:
- Strictly talk business
- Show little care about your clients’ personal lives
- Enjoy exchanging personal notes about life with clientele.
Create a list of your loyal clients. Decide if it’s time to treat some or all to coffee or lunch and get to know them better. If you are in a position to host an Open House or invite a group to an event venue, think about who you will ask and how you will treat the guests as they arrive. This combination of social and business requires much planning.
Another way to achieve the same effort is to attend online conference calls or in-person networking events. Listen carefully to the conversation to hear where your ideas may be of help. Offer insights and introductions that make a lasting impression. People will be forever appreciative. And many will reciprocate in some manner to further your endeavor, too. It pays off handsomely to combine social and business.
Sales Tips for Combing Social and Business
Remember the person behind the client
- Give each person the attention they deserve
- Build relationships and goodwill
- Develop understanding between yourself and those you meet
- Avoid dismissing ideas of others but research them first
- Be the one to offer introductions and insights for improvement
- Show appreciation for referrals and suggestions that come your way
- As your budget allows, treat clients to coffee or lunch
- Create special events to shower appreciation for clientele
- Celebrate Success!
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