Here I am again telling you about how important networking is to your business. Well it is true, and let me tell why it is true again.
I belong to several networking groups, some are large and a couple are the smaller type. I do attend the meetings faithfully. I have met many wonderful business owners, sales people and employees of those business owners.
One general manager of a hotel chain in our area belongs to the same group as me. A friend of mine who is the sales director for the same hotel asked me if I would do a cancer walk as part of the hotel’s team.
Of course I said yes, any time we can give back to the community we should. We raised money through sponsors for our team and on the day of the walk we (me, my friend, the general manager and several others from the same hotel) met at the staging area at a local park.
It was a fun day and it really did feel good to contribute to the cancer cause. Something else I did, when the general manager’s husband passed away, I sent her a sympathy card. I’m not patting myself on the back for sending a card, just saying a little act of kindness will go a long way.
I continue to see my friend and the general manager at our mutual networking events. Low and behold the general manager called me to give her a quote to clean the carpets in her hotel. Tom and I were thrilled to get that opportunity.
We scheduled an appointment to go out to measure the carpet and give her a price, which we did. Well a few weeks went by and we did not hear from her, so of course we called her. She told us that the owner of the hotel decided to replace all the carpets in the hotel and upgrade the rooms.
What could we say, but thanks for the opportunity to give you a quote, and that I would see her at networking. She had no control over the decision to replace the carpets and besides that’s business.
Just last month when I saw her at a networking luncheon she asked me if the price to clean the hotel carpets was still good. I said yes, why? The hallway carpets are starting to look dirty and they need to be cleaned.
When I arrived back at our office I checked our calendar and called her to set up an appointment to go out to take a look at the carpets. We went out that same week, and wound up getting the account for the entire place. They also needed the hallways done quarterly and all 90 rooms to be cleaned again 6 months later.
That my friend is an over $7,000.00 per year networking pay off (how many networking yearly dues would that pay for). Remember you may not always hit the home run right away but keep the faith, it will come, if people get to know you and like you.
What happened to me can just as easily happen to you. Just remember… Make friends first, customers will come second. So keep on networking so people know your face and get to know you as a business person, then they will trust you with their business.
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