I hauled myself out of bed the other morning at 4AM in order to attend a Breakfast networking meeting that was entitled 'How Gratitude can bring an increase in your bottom line!' When I first got the invitation to this meeting, I thought Oh Boy! This is right up my alley. But after a long week at getting up early going to meetings and then attending more late night meetings also, not to mention suffering from a head cold and sinus infection going on 4 weeks now, when the alarm went off, I thought, OMG what was I thinking. I got ready anyway because I had to pick up my team mate who had registered and paid for us to go.
It was very well worth the trip. It was not your typical business meeting. This is a new group focused on all the right aspects of business. The very first exercise we did was to talk with those at our table and to tell what we were grateful for not in our business, but in our life. That was different, but it is close to Thanksgiving, so I could understand. But as the presentation went on, I began to see the true theme of the meeting and the organization. It was very refreshing because it hit right on my core values and beliefs, that of building relationships with people and trying to establish a helpful giving attitude will come back to you ten fold.
I go to a lot of face to face networking meetings of all kinds and meet a lot of people. My primary purpose, of course, like everyone else, it to find new business. Along the way I meet a lot of people who are doing the same thing. Now we all know we can’t all do business with each other, however we can try and help each other. How you ask? Listen and ask questions. Find out about the person and their business, what makes them unique and different from others in their industry. One of the questions that you can ask, which was presented in this meeting, “Why should I do business with you?” Try that one sometimes and you’ll be surprised at the answers you get. Also think about what you would say if someone asked you that question. Now you still might not need their services at the moment, but you can use that information in a number of ways.
Here are five things you can do:
• Introduce that person to a good referral partner for them. Example: Introduce a Real Estate person to a mortgage broker.
• Suggest/invite them to other networking meetings, groups, organizations, etc. that they might attend. I have a ‘Networking Opportunities’ list posted on my website that I refer people to.
• If it’s someone you really want to establish a relationship with, make the effort to follow up with them. Send them a note or card. Call and set up a meeting for coffee with the intention of ‘How can we help each other’ or ‘I want to get to know you and understand your business better.’
• File their info, so you will have it when you hear someone needs that service. Establish yourself as a ‘Who do you know that does?”
• Refer that person whenever possible.
Here is an example of how gratitude helped my bottom line this week. I help co-host a women’s monthly networking meeting. We had a professional organizer who attended our meetings a few times. She impressed me because besides just introducing herself and telling about her business, she would offer helpful tips on organizing. We established some rapport and she started using my greeting card service for which I was grateful. When someone asks if I know an organizer, I refer them to her. One of the referrals was to my sister in law, who just raved about the ideas and information she provided, and she would definitely be using her services. I also asked her to be a speaker at an upcoming business meeting in January. So even though I have not used her services personally, I know she’s very good and knowledgeable at what she does and she is very reliable.
Here’s where the story gets interesting. I recently acquired a new client for my greeting card business and when I talked with her and asked how she found out about me and my service, she said she had been a speaker at a recent meeting of which my friend the organizer had sent her a thank you card. Do you turn cards over to see what brand it is? My website was printed on the back of the card. She liked the card so much, she set up her own account, tried it, liked it, and then upgraded. Was I grateful? You better believe it. I not only sent a Thank You card, but a gift as well.
So, I believe, the point of all this is showing gratitude and appreciation and helping others can help to build your business because they in turn will do the same for us.
I leave you with these quotes:
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" ~William A. Ward
Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern
“Send Out to Give” Kody Bateman
“What goes around, comes around” - Proverb quote
Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!
Annette S. Walden
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