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Thread: How important is it to be social?

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    Email problem stephanfx's Avatar
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    How important is it to be social?

    I was wondering how important it is to be sociable in business?

    By sociable, I mean, going out and having a couple of drinks, being able to talk about something not to do about business, being able to talk about sport, weather and all other manor of small talk.

    Myself am not really all that sociable, so I was wondering how it might affect my business.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    It generally does not hurt to be able to chit-chat before getting down to business for a business meeting. However, I'm not a great believer in finding business at bars.

    Ultimately it comes down to awareness. Each person you meet might be a potential customer. How important your social network is in your business might be affected by the nature of your business.

    Social contacts can be a great source of good business without doubt. I'm not sure that it should be the corner stone of your marketing strategy, though.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Email problem stephanfx's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice Dave, I appreciate it.

    I am in the process of starting up a web development and design business, along with a business directory, so I think it might be useful to have a rather good social network, and social skills.

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    Platinum Member SilverNodashi's Avatar
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    I think the way todo it, is not to find "clients @ bars" - but rather to be social with clients & potential clients.

    Differently put, have an open day, with "free hot dogs + cokes" kinda thing.

    Being social in the business world is an important thing, and you'll be amazed at how many clients I have met @ social events, which I went to and had nothing related to my line of business (web development, hosting, networking, etc)!
    Think about it, how's going to your kid's school events (swimming, rugby, netball, etc)? Other people, just like you. People who may very well be interested in websites, for their own businesses.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    All too true, SoftDux. I think the trick is not to ram it down their throats. You need to use a real "By the way" approach in social mixers.

    If someone shows real interest, I tend to go "Give me your contact details and I'll give you a call to set up an a meeting." This works for two reasons:
    • There's no "Hard sell" pressure, and
    • You show your business environment is seperate from social activities
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Email problem stephanfx's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input Dave & SoftDux. To clear up one thing, I never meant to find clients at bars, what I meant was taking them out, once in a while, treating them, etc.

    Oh yeah, SoftDux, I am only getting married in July, so no kiddies yet

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    Platinum Member SilverNodashi's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the big day

    I also see I made a type in my previous post.

    Think about it, how's going to your kid's school events (swimming, rugby, netball, etc)? Other people, just like you. People who may very well be interested in websites, for their own businesses.
    Should read as follows:
    Think about it, who's going to your kid's school events (swimming, rugby, netball, etc)? Other people, just like you. People who may very well be interested in websites, for their own businesses.
    What I'm trying to say with this is, even if you don't have children yet, who do you meet, outside of the office? Especially at places non-related to your line of business, like say a friend's birthday party (another example).

    We attended a photoshoot a while ago, and met all sorts of other people there. The only thing we had in common, is that we're all photographers (some more professional though), and just about everyone was in a different line of business, yet I got 4 new clients from that day

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    Email problem RKS Computer Solutions's Avatar
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    I've taken out current and prospective clients, for dinner with their spouses or just for a quick drink at the pub...

    The big point in this, apart from wringing more money away from "Jan Taks", is that you can see your clients in a more relaxed state away from the office and find out more about what their interests are... When the topic of business arrives, it's always light hearted and communications about their needs and your offerings flows more easily...

    For the amount of clients I take out, I rarely go with the end mission of ending up with more business from them... But, comes Monday morning, there is always an invite back to the office to discuss more on the topic of the evening before hand or for information gathering regarding one of the topics that was raised at our social gatherings...

    There has also been occasions where at some of these social gatherings my clients will introduce me to some of their other partner and/or clients, for which I always have a business card ready, and a cold beer should they wish to join us...

    A good tip for these gatherings are to always keep it light and sociable, refrain from talking any business until the client starts, and always stay one step ahead on what your next topic will be... Be relaxed, but professional; Listen to what your client has to say, and be responsive regarding his topic, make him feel comfortable...

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