Yesterday was one of those days that I considered to be successful as far as networking goes. I worked from home yesterday. I didn’t have any appointments, so I used my day to tweak my social media sites, write a post on my blog and do some emailing with some October housing news.
I received an email from a client I had worked with for about a month. This client was looking to rent a home and we saw each other almost daily. In the end when a home was found and a lease was about to be signed, the client got cold feet and decided to look into renting an apartment instead.
Yes, it was a lot of work with no results. From my point of view though, it was another person to get to know, helping me to get my name out there. Well, my perspective turned out to be a good perspective. The client and I had a good rapport and ended our working relationship on good terms. The email I received thanked me and mentioned that she had had a great experience with me. I was offered an opportunity to help a family with their relocation needs through a referral the client provided. Not only was I flattered, but I was relieved to know that the client really did feel that we worked well together. It wasn’t just my point of view.
I had another referral come in for an area of the state that I don’t work in. I passed the referral onto another realtor who I know and who does a terrific job. The realtor were thrilled and asked what area I worked in exclusively so that she could send some business my way. Our areas don’t overlap, and she has been in the business for years. This could be a great connection for my business.
Last night I went up to the local high school. I am co-chair of a committee working on the senior all-night party. I met four new people who I would be working with exclusively. Instead of writing my contact information on a piece of paper, I gave them my business card.
I think about what my career will look like in a year if I am able to connect that well on a daily basis. Flyers, emails and phone calls are one thing. Personally I feel the best way to expand your business is to get personal. There’s nothing like connecting with people in person or reaching out to those you know on an acquaintance level and get to know them better. Most importantly to me though, I want to build my relationships in an honest and authentic way.
When I contacted the realtor with the referral, it wasn’t to see what she could do for me. I knew I couldn’t help this customer, but I still wanted them to have a good experience. I also wanted to give someone else I knew and admired an opportunity to get more business. If I couldn’t help, why not pass it to someone else who would be fantastic with this customer.
When I went to the meeting, I had no plan to hand out business cards. If I had gone around just passing them out, I would have looked ridiculous and shallow anyway. I had an opportunity to share contact information and handing out my card was just the most efficient and quickest way to pass on the information. Being able to advertise my services was just a bonus.
So looking down the road, I am getting a better idea of how I want my business to flow. For me and my style of handling my business, it means getting out into the community and participating. It’s what feels best to me. I feel lucky to have a job where promoting myself means to go out and have some fun while doing some good work for others. It’s a feeling of satisfaction in a way I have never felt with the past jobs I have had over the years.