Building Meaningful Relationships in Entrepreneurship
Journey of an Entrepreneur – Part V
Thank you for reading the previous parts of the entrepreneurship journey. If you have missed the initial parts of this journey, do read them to keep track of this journey. In this episode, we are going to focus on another important aspect of entrepreneurship – building meaningful relationships. These are critical in helping you expand your reach via recommendations. This article will outline a few aspects of building “ties that scale”.
Relationship building starts the moment you decide to start your entrepreneurship journey. You need not wait for your company registration to complete. You need not wait for the legal formalities to be completed. The right time is NOW! Start building meaningful relationships at the earliest possible. You will be surprised by how far you can go once people start recommending you, your products and services over your competitors. This works more powerful than conventional and modern marketing techniques and campaigns.
Network to Build Relationships
Keep an eye out for the various meetup events happening at different venues. Ensure that you have ample visiting cards printed. Attend each event with at least 40-50 (on an average) visiting cards in your pocket. The number of attendees, type of organizers, the event venue and other factors will give you a fair idea of the number of people expected at the event. Utilize the time before the event start, coffee breaks and post-event completion to network with the participants, exchange visiting cards and have a conversational exchange about their businesses.
Be careful to have a conversation in which you are only creating awareness about your business, products, and services. Attempts to be made to not sell anything to anyone. Simply focus on having the initial ice-breaker conversation. From their reaction and response, you will be able to gauge who is your potential customer. Here you will be able to easily filter your target audience for subsequent follow-ups.
Post the event, send a follow-up email to all the people whom you have met and spoken to and taken their email addresses. Keep the email short and brief with a link to your website. Avoid using images and attachments to make the email heavy or distorted. A simple vanilla text email will suffice as long as it is well worded and adequately spaced. This will remain on the records for the recipient. For this, you can use the online tools that are available for sending bulk emails.
From the visiting cards, you will have the contact numbers and names of the business owners, founders, co-founders, partners, marketing heads, directors, etc. Follow up with them occasionally with a semi-formal conversational phone call. They will entertain you in this approach. Be careful to not harass or bombard them with too much information. This will have negative impacts.
It is very important to keep the following points in mind.
- Master the art of “sell without selling”.
- Attempt to build long-lasting personal relationships.
- Be a part of as many networks as possible on different social media platforms, offline and online.
- Gauge the audience and pitch accordingly.
Build meaningful relationships that will go a long way and not just for business. You never know who will refer you or reach out to you at what point of time for your services.
Part 1 – Who is an Entrepreneur?