04/02/2016 - By RC-CMS
Valentine’s Day is looming, and some business sectors don’t need to ask what it has to do with them. If you’re connected with greetings cards, chocolates, flowers, hospitality or catering, you’ve already geared up for one of the busiest times of your year.
But what about the rest of us? Perhaps the whole idea of romance isn’t quite so out of place in the business world as it might seem at first sight.
Finding the One
We’re all looking for new clients, whether they’re members of the public to buy our products or other businesses that need our services. But clients don’t just fall into our laps, any more than relationships do.
There are lots of ways to find a romantic partner, usually requiring some degree of effort — socialising in the kind of places your ideal partner might frequent, going to a speed-dating club, even placing a personal ad.
In the same way, we have to go out and find clients. The value of advertising our services varies a lot depending on the type of business, but there’s also networking. Depending on the meeting, business networking can feel either like socialising or speed-dating.
Or then there’s the recommendation — a friend setting you up with a date, a colleague giving you a lead. But that will only happen if you’ve already cultivated the original relationship.
Finding the One is only half the battle. You also need to get them interested in you. Would you start either a personal or a business relationship with someone you’ve just met and don’t really know? You have to court them.
The idea of courtship in romance seems a little old-fashioned nowadays, but that’s only the formal, ritualised type of courtship. You don’t want the One to forget about you, so you keep in touch, suggest doing things together, give them presents.
You may not give a prospective client physical presents, but you can offer advice and help, and you should certainly keep in touch. Not like a stalker, but take every opportunity to remind them you’re there. And eventually you may get what you’re hoping for — a contract.
Old Married Couples
These days, Valentine’s Day is as much about celebrating existing relationships as forging new ones, and it’s important not to take such things for granted. Business relationships are polygamous, of course, but don’t focus so much on finding new ones that you ignore those already forged. Remember to value and celebrate those, as well.
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