Secrets To Building Community Relationships
We hear a lot today above how everything and everyone is interconnected. Yet so often in business, we feel like we’re all alone out there, operating as a company of one.
Additionally, a common complaint is that there is now so much competition that it is getting increasingly difficult to keep clients, let alone grow a client base.
The truth is, opportunity abounds. The secret is in building community relationships.
But let’s take a look at why and how to build good community relationships from a whole new and different perspective - one that will create for you a competitive edge whether you’re a business owner or an employee.
Are you the only one in San Diego who does what you do? Of course not. Many others do what you do. But let’s take a closer look. Is there anyone else that does what you do exactly like you do it ?
Now we have an entirely different answer. Nobody does it quite like you do. This makes you unique.
So one key to building your competitive edge is to identify and then market those qualities that set you apart from the rest.
It could be the quality of your customer service, or special skills or training you have. Or it could be your location or your ability to respond quickly to someone’s needs. Or it even might be that you’re multilingual thus enabling you to serve people from different cultures.
Identify three to five things that set you apart from the rest. Once you have these identified, the next step is to tell the right people. The secret here is to think of businesses that are similar to yours but not exactly identical - ones that do not compete with yours but actually complement your business or set of skills.
Here’s why: if you complement each other, when you develop new business, it most likely will lead to business for them too and vice versa.
An example is a jeweler who knows a caterer. When a couple decides to get married, they will need a good caterer for the wedding reception. And of course the caterer is in a great position to recommend you, the jeweler if the couple visits the jeweler first.
Let’s take this to the next level. Once you’ve identified those businesses that are relational to yours, open the phone book. Look for those that are close to you. Call them and introduce yourself. Remember to tell them what makes you unique. Offer to drop by in person to say hello. There’s probably business waiting to be done for you both.
Finally, join local trade organizations and the chamber of commerce. Come in contact with others who can refer business to you.
Building community relationships in these ways is the secret to building business.