I don’t mean walking around the streets with a big drum and a placard over your shoulders saying BUY HERE! Although it would definitely wake up your neighbours I doubt you would get that many sales (wouldn’t it be worth a try if it did though?)
What got me thinking about this was when I met up with a colleague the other day.
He had just moved into some new business premises, and had invited me along for a chat and a coffee. It was a unit in one of those purpose-built business centres that are ideal for small, young companies.
My colleague’s business is a video company, specialising in providing promotional shorts for web-sites and YouTube. He was telling me that he had just bought some new equipment for his new office, and was now looking to pay for it by winning some new clients!
I drank my coffee and asked him how he was settling in to his new office. He shrugged and said it was fine – good location, modern facilities, easy to commute to etc.
I then asked him if he had bumped into any of the other business-owners in the centre yet.
He said he had seen a couple of them in the kitchen and they seemed friendly.
“Well, that’s your answer then!” I said.
“How many businesses are there in this centre?” I asked him.
“Looking at the list in the reception area, I would say about forty,” he said.
“Fantastic! And how many of those have got video clips promoting their business?”
My colleague shrugged. “I’m not sure. Not too many, I would imagine.”
“In that case, don’t you think it would be a good idea if you introduced yourself to your new neighbours?” I suggested.
Of course it was!
Think about your own location – if you are in a business centre then get along to all your neighbours and introduce yourself. Alternatively, look up all other prospective businesses within a one mile radius of where you are based, and go see them.
This is what you need to say. “As a business neighbour, I thought it would be a good idea if we grabbed a coffee and found out more about what we each do, to see if there’s any way we can help each other.” Don’t shorten it, don’t change it – just say it as it is.
As most small businesses are keen for the opportunity to tell people about what they do, it is likely that they will all jump at the chance to chat with you.
All you have to do then is drink your coffee, and listen for the results they are trying to achieve with their business. At this stage you are just building a new relationship, but if you think you can definitely help them achieve the results they’re looking for, then suggest you could help them if they were interested in having a further chat.
With any luck, this will result in a fruitful business relationship, where your new client gets the results they want and you win a new sale.
Everyone’s happy! Especially your neighbours, who you have just woken up to how you can help them!