Doing Business in 2012

“How’s business?” This is a question I’m used to receiving regularly. I reply honestly, which is that business is there; however it’s a lot more work to earn the business than it used to be.  I am finding that I call and email and my outreach goes unanswered.  Those that know me know that I have tenacity and I never stop with one or two messages. I continue until … until I get a reply.

At times this makes me feel like I’m harassing; however I find it’s necessary.  When I do connect with people, I gauge where their interest is. If they have no interest, if the project was dropped, etc. then I’ll stop reaching out.  The reply lately has been, “No, we’re interested, I’ve just been busy.”  Business in 2012 isn’t for the faint of heart.  It takes a lot of work, persistence and tenacity.

I’m working to use every tool I have at my disposal.  I do webinars, I use email, Skype, phone calls and social media.  But the avalanche of emails and voice messages gets overwhelming.  It’s so tempting to retreat and type replies or not return phone calls.

I embrace all the tools that are available in doing business today and I find them extremely helpful, however nothing replaces the “in person” meetings.

We’re in the people business and people do business with people they know, like and trust.  We can only be successful if we really get to know our customers and colleagues.  Webinars, Skype and other tools are great, however nothing replaces a personal, face-to-face connection.

Meeting face-to-face allows us to read facial expressions and body language, which can often tell us more than words.  In body language and facial expressions, we can see confidence, friendliness, empathy, fear and sincerity.  This is vital to moving the conversation and business forward.

Remember, good business is a personal phone call and great business is a face-to-face meeting.  Then, as I always say around my office, the fortune is in the follow-up!  Once you’ve had that great face-to-face meeting, you need to do what you say you’ll do and follow up.  I also believe that follow up never ends.  Relationships need to be nurtured and maintained.  It’s okay to have a good amount of time pass, however relationships require continued follow up.

What works for you?

Cory Schaeffer

About Cory Schaeffer

Cory is Director of Systems Solutions for QSC. She serves on the Board of Listen Technologies, which she co-founded in 1998. She previously served on the Board of Directors for InfoComm International. Cory is passionate about the industry and developing and nurturing relationships to connect people to positive experiences. She lives in Santa Barbara, California.

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