So let’s look at the usual reasons for doing it but towards the end I will give some reasons I bet you have not thought of yet that may well surprise you!
Your network can mean life or death – literally!
COST EFFICIENCIES – It cost far less to phone and visit someone than to run an advertising campaign or place adverts in the paper. Even in hard times you can afford a cup of coffee and using your mouth is free! Remember, It costs up to five times as much to find a new customer as it does to keep an existing one
CONVERSION RATES ARE HIGH - Your “hit rate” should also be higher when contacting people you already have a good working relationship with and the warm referral that they pass to you.
UPGRADING YOUR CLIENT BASE – You can be very specific about who you target so that you can systematically upgrade you client base over time. Wouldn’t it be great to have hundreds of clients that all fit your target market profile, love dealing with you, buy lots of product or service and pay the price you want to charge?
Wouldn’t it be great to get rid of those troublesome customers that are never happy, eat up your time and always complain about something?
COUNTER CLIENT BASE SHRINKAGE – You naturally lose clients through anything from dissatisfaction to death. Imagine having a large client that is selling their business who recommends and introduces you to the new business owner and several other potential clients as good as they are.
INCREASE CLIENT RETENTION – By making them feel part of the team, making many contacts with them and making them feel valued, you reduce client shrinkage markedly.
BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME - When your network suggests you call it will usually be at a timely moment. If a prospect has a genuine need the likelihood of genuine interest is increased markedly.
MAXIMISES UNDERUTILISED OR NEW STAFF – If you generate new business opportunities as a consistent part of your business process, you will always have potential customers for these staff to see. They will be successful and profit will grow.
AND IT IS A LOT MORE FUN! – You would rather be cold calling? I don’t think so.
Lets look at some of the professional reasons to build a business relationship.
- Word of mouth is still the best way to sell.
- Small businesses become large businesses at little cost.
- Faster promotions and better pay – “It’s who you know” is an old saying that is still true. Well connected people get ahead in this world – it is that simple.
- For sales people - A large active network is more valuable to an organisation and so you have more value.
- When you have good relationships with your suppliers you get better priced and quality materials and loyalty in tight times. If there is a limit on stock or a price rise coming, guess who hears about it and gets the last few.
- A great relation ship with customers will give you loyalty when the opposition call, advocates for your business and business done on other than pure price.Within the company you are able to take charge of a situation more quickly. Business effectiveness relies most on “human related activities.”
- Managing up – Working well with superiors.
- Managing down – Subordinates committed as partners.
- Managing sideways – The power of peers.
That is all well and good but there is a very important aspect that people often overlook.
Personal Reasons to Build a Business Relationship and Network.
Better physical and mental health – we are social creatures. Men especially think they can get by on their own but it simply is not true. As social creatures we thrive in packs and wither as individuals.
Go right back through evolution and you will find the tribes survive. Ever heard of an explorer finding the lost man in the jungle? No way – it is always the lost tribe!
Apart from more happiness and satisfaction, having a social network around us to support us in troubled times leads to faster recovery from illness and adversity. Put simply, we live longer and achieve more.
It is also an important aspect to being financially successful and secure. Ask yourself a simple question, if you had to ring someone at 2.00 am for a loan with no gaurentees attached, based soley on your good name, how many people could you ring who could lend you $10,000?
So you see, networking really can be a matter of life and death!