Are you in a profession or field where selling WHO you are is just as important (if not more so) as WHAT you do for your clients?
I like to say, “If you focus on building transactions, you’ll fail to build relationships. But if you focus on building relationships, you’ll build transactions, too”. It’s a truth that will help take you to the bank . . . if you practice it in your business or practice!
My Advice: Write Personal Notes
In these days when no one ever seems to have enough time to do everything we want to do, the mere act of setting aside the time to write a personal note is a behavioral statement that, “Dang it, You Matter To Me!”.
Now I can’t speak for you, but most people are a little ‘stroke deprived’. We get all kinds of you-know-what but never, so it seems, enough ‘love and recognition’ from others. In basic human terms, we don’t get recognized as having value — in an unconditional way! So . . . by sending a note to someone who’s a prospect, client or center-of-influence, you’re effectively validating that, at least to you, they matter! And that, is what marks you as a person of interest and value to them. That builds goodwill and . . . sooner or later . . . revenues for you.
And here’s a simple, powerful and highly effective way to do this . . .
Write One (1) Personal Note / Day
While there is value in doing more than this, let’s not overwhelm you before you even get started. So I’m deliberately suggesting you ‘start small’ with this idea. Once you get to the point where you’re consistently and conscientiously getting ONE personal note written (and, sent!) each day, you can ramp it up a bit. But remember . . . ‘walk before you run’ . . . just doing ‘one note’ a day is far better than doing ‘no note’ a day.
By the way you don’t need to say a lot! Something as simple as, “Dear Chris, I just had a moment and wanted to say how much I admire how you never let the economy get you down. You’re an inspiration to me. Thank you, Dana” will work just fine! In fact, you could even print up a nice ‘notecard’ for yourself as the gifted author (and prolific note-writer!) Bob Burg has done here:
Who and Why?
Your business network consists of many people who fall into three (3) main categories:
2. Clients, and
Each person in your network is in a position to do at least one of the following:
BUY . . . what you’re selling or doing, and/or
REFER . . . others to you / you to others . . . who can
Your network is your business lifeline . . . so it’s important to keep it working –– for you! And there’s nothing like any act of recognition to demonstrate how important and valued they are to you. That breeds tons of GOODWILL and BRAND PREFERENCE for you. And, while that may not be a tangible asset on your balance sheet, it’s a critical factor that drives value to it.
But here’s the problem: “HOW . . . do you stay on the ‘Mental Shelf’ of your prospects, clients or centers-of-influence in a way that makes you both memorable to and appreciated by these people?”
And, “HOW . . . do you get them to think of you FIRST and FAVORABLY???”
whenever they (or, someone they know — a friend, family member, client, co-worker, etc.) — develop a ‘need-to-know’ about something YOU can do.
The Method . . . Ya Gotta Have a Method!
Here’s what I suggest you do . . . to get started. Once you’re doing this for a few weeks, you’ll be ‘hooked’ on the practice because of all the positive and wonderful feedback (not to mention goodwill and business opportunities!) that will be coming your way.
Again, let’s keep this simple. Make an appointment with yourself on a Saturday or Sunday for just 30 minutes. During your appointment with yourself, here’s what you want to do:
IDENTIFY . . . five (5) people you’d like to build (or, continue to build) a relationship with
CHOOSE . . . something about them worthy of noting — in a note, of course!
WRITE . . . a brief note to each person recognizing them for that quality or action you admire
PUT . . . each note in an envelope, address it and add a stamp (remember those?)
SCHEDULE . . . to send out one note . . . for each day of the week
That’s it. Kind of like working out at the gym. Don’t overdo it. But do get started. The benefits you’ll enjoy will be amazing. People will call you to say, “Thank You”. Sometimes they’ll even say, “Funny how, after your note arrived, a friend called me looking for some help with . . . and I thought maybe you could help . . . here’s her number . . . why not give her a call and mention my name when you do . . . ” Yes. It WILL happen. And yes, it is all good!
In a world where the simple act of recognition has become increasingly elusive, taking action to honor the relationships you have with your key people — by writing them a personal, handwritten note — is huge. Hugely appreciated by your key people and hugely productive and profitable for you, as well.