Why do we do it and do we do it right?
As Balanix Solutions moves towards our 8th Birthday, we’ve reflected on what has brought us the greatest success in our business and why. Like many others, we have spent a significant amount of time and money developing our client base.
During our time we have spent money on web development, advertising, promotion and networking. Which one has brought the greatest return? Without doubt, NETWORKING – not only in terms of dollar revenue but even more importantly, relationship building.
Balanix Solutions sets out to create long term clients as a major objective. To us this means that when a client comes on board it is because it works for both parties and both parties are interested in the long term based on a strong business relationship.
Balanix Solutions uses networking to develop relationships and not as a means of selling our services. In this regard, we look at ways of helping businesses to achieve success. This often means referring business to other businesses that are able to assist without seeking anything in return.
This concept is quite a paradigm shift when you consider that in joining a networking group, thoughts spring to mind that there maybe some people that you could never really successfully network with because they didn’t relate to your business in a way that would be productive. However, with the improvement of networking skills it becomes apparent what networking is really about. If you take the time to understand what others do and show a genuine interest in what they do, then opportunities will arise where you are able to help.
It is important to be genuine in your desire to know and help others. People can very quickly determine whether you are genuine or not which will determine the strength and longevity of the relationship.
When attending a function, don’t simply hand out business cards – take the time to build rapport. It is only when the person you are speaking with has built positive rapport with you that it is likely they will remember you and connect you to your business card.
Once the rapport has been established it is important to maintain the relationship. A system in place is needed to remind you to keep in touch with these people and, equally important, to be on the lookout for ways to help.
For example, recently a client needed to refocus in relation to marketing as they were spending serious money but did not really have a strategy. We were able to refer them to someone we knew that specialised in marketing. The end result was a happy client (because their problem in now well under control), a happy marketing contact (because they now have a client with whom they have the opportunity to have a long and successful relationship) and a happy Balanix Solutions.
Balanix Solutions’ system for networking includes a file containing all network contacts and information is added as we learn more about the person and their business.
We have found that this approach to networking reaps rewards for us. With this approach shared amongst contacts and fellow networkers, referrals come our way too; in some instances, when least expected.
For example, our hairdresser referred a client to us and since then that client has referred another client. The referral was born from a long and strong relationship with no expectations. This made the thank you and gratitude flowers more appreciated.
Which leads to the final point. In being genuine in your relationships, take the time to thank people who have passed on referrals. Depending on the relationship this can be simply saying thank you (in person or by phone if possible) or with a gift or gesture.