Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Doing business with people of influence in your community?

I was having lunch with an old friend yesterday. He has recently commenced business as a mortgage broker. It's a tough market to get started in.

We got talking about how he could grow his network and referral base. We started discussing all the people in his local community he is doing business with on a regular basis.

This list quickly grew to include:

  • The bottle shop
  • The service (petrol) station
  • His mechanic
  • His wife's mechanic (the cheaper one)
  • The corner store
  • The local cafe
  • The local bank
  • His Hairdresser
  • His Accountant

Most of these people don't know what he does for a living.

A few things crossed my mind.

1. You can't sell a secret

2. Most people like to do business with people they like and trust

3. Start developing relationships with these people / local suppliers

4. Most people working within a community like recommending other people within a community to do business with.

Community is king in tough economic times. Focus on your local community. Support your suppliers.

Don't forget to let them know what you do for a living. You might also inform them that most of your business comes from referrals from within your community.

Developing relationships takes time. Start off by spending time with the people you want to develop relationships with.

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