Contractor Business Tips
These contractor business tips come from Aussie website www.Brainbox.co.au. So see what you think.
In the course of a busy business, it’s so easy to overlook important events and milestones that affect the people with whom we work and interact. Yet to do so is to miss a crucial relationship building opportunity.
So, developing and maintaining personal profiles can provide the foundation to lasting business relationships. Embrace this action, therefore, and you will be simply amazed at the result. In today’s changing small business environment where ‘who we are’ ranks absolutely alongside ‘what we do’ as a marketing proposition, there’s simply no excuse for not getting to grips with this concept.
Add to this the technology we have at our fingertips to simplify such work and suddenly we risk feeling just plain silly if we’re not taking action.
So what is a Personal Profile?
A personal profile is quite simply a personal record concerning those people with whom we have a relationship of value, or potential value. It’s what we automatically know and remember about our closest friends, but invariably forget about our customers and contacts.
Imagine a young teenage man pursuing a young woman. He is besotted, yet has no indication of her feelings toward him. Out of the blue she asks him how his soccer match went at the weekend. What joy! What is this saying to the man? It’s saying that the young woman cares, that she has an interest in his life.
How would it be if every time you spoke with your clients and customers they went away with this feeling? What would it do for your business relationships?
Personal Profile Policy Key Points
When considering a Personal Profile Policy for our business it’s worth getting really clear on a couple of key points:
1. Who are the people in and around our business whose relationship we really value?
2. What steps are we prepared to take to recognise that value?
Let’s look at ‘value’ for a moment. It’s not uncommon for business owners to interpret value as being purely a monetary measure: – “The people I value are the ones who give me money!” being a common response to the “who do you value?” question.
Fair enough, we must value those who contribute to our income, but to stop there is to miss a huge proportion of the potentially valuable relationships that exist around our businesses.
Contractor Business Tips – Who We Should Value
What about our workforce? Then, there’s our suppliers? Add to that our past customers? What about our competitors even?
Within these groups are a number of likely advocates for our businesses – the people who talk about us to others; produce referrals; create opportunities.
Arguably, in this context all relationships are valuable relationships. Picture for a moment the signals it sends when we recall the name of the child of our photocopier engineer. What do you suppose that engineer carries with him or her, to the next call? What impression of us?
So are we all going to build Personal Profiles of our photocopier engineers? Doubtful, but it serves to illustrate the point. Imagine now a key client or customer. As we part company at a meeting, we ask her if there’s anything big planned for the weekend because we know it’s her first wedding anniversary.
So, what does that say to our client? It shows we’ve remembered the big personal event of last year, it shows her we have an interest in her life, it shows we are bigger than our business.
What to Include in Personal Profiles
Personal profiles are a record of as much personal information on each individual as we deem relevant to keep. This may include:
2. Wedding Anniversary
3. Spouse/partner name
4. Children’s names and birthdays
5. Names of pets
6. Favourite pastimes and hobbies
7. Favourite music
8. Key personal & business milestones: i.e: business launch date/completion of house renovations/years away from graduation etc.
Contractor Business Tips – Software Available
There is a mass of computer software available. This ranges from fairly basic facilities within email and spreadsheet programs to specialist Contact Management and Customer Relationship Management tools. But don’t allow any intimidation by the apparent complexity of some of these systems to become an excuse for inaction – there’s nothing wrong with good old old-fashioned card index systems.
Indeed many experienced sale and marketing people use nothing else, citing the action of writing and maintaining a card index system as a support to the essential ‘human’ element of this strategy.
But is all this a little bit contrived, a tad too blatant? Yes it is!
The dictionary defines contrived as being ‘planned’ and blatant as ‘obvious’. So, what better way to demonstrate our grasp of the value of relationships around our business, than by making plans and being obvious? If you don’t do it, someone else will.
Robert Gerrish supports independent professionals, contractors and free agents who want more clients. For more of his tips visit his website.
Robert Gerrish ([email protected])
So, there’s a few contractor business tips for you. What do you think?
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