Lots of client meetings this week. Yes, we need to know our clients for AML but chatting to them usually results in extra work. Sometimes it’s a quick query that can be answered straight away and earn ‘brownie points’ and client loyalty but sometimes it is paying work that earns extra fees.
How often do you speak to your clients?
I don’t know about you but I use social media for networking rather than selling. Like face to face networking I like to take my time to get to know somebody and find out what interests we have in common, exchange a little bit of information about our respective businesses, and to see whether we actually like each other. I’ll then arrange to meet for a coffee if they’re nearby or if we’re going to be at the same business event.
The other form of networking I’ve been doing recently is internet dating and, rightly or wrongly, I follow the same sort of format. I get to know somebody online before meeting up to see whether we get along in real life.
But both forms of networking have pushy people.
Linked In has the annoying people who connect with you only to try and sell you something, or to persuade you to give up your valuable time for a “free” software demo (hint: my time is a limited resource so it has a value). The online dating arena is full of people wanting to promote their “assets” by sending photos or wanting sex before you’ve even met for that first coffee.
Whether in business or dating, timing is everything. Please take your time to get to know people and don’t assume that people want to see the whole package before they have got to know you. A good relationship is worth investing a bit of time up front.