Business Development: Ignore Your Network At Your Peril!
One day, you may need their help ...
POSTED BY JACKY SHERMAN ON 11/09/2019 @ 8:00AM
Last Thursday, I went to a party after work. I'd had quite a tough week to that point including a late-night visit to A&E and was shattered ...
The 5th birthday celebrations for Essendon Accounts & Tax proved that you should never ignore your network!
It was a perfect opportunity to bow out gracefully and give my apologies. Except it was a celebration and I didn't want to miss it. I was so glad I went as it enthused me and reminded me why I do the business I do.
"The occasion was to mark the fifth year in business of
Essendon Accounts and Tax!"
As always, Roger Eddowes and Helen Beaumont presented it as a thank you to all the people who had helped them take the company from near disaster to the success it is today. I asked Roger to write a few words for this blog post and I think his words sum up the reason for that success.
"When it was clear five years ago that Helen and I would be setting up a new accountancy and tax practise we knew we had to do it quickly in order to ensure our clients were properly looked after. Having that network of great contacts was invaluable.
"We needed an office, computers and finance and all were produced within days with huge thanks to our network. If our network didn't exist, we wouldn't be celebrating our 5th year in business and treating our clients and collaborators to a summer party of fizz and great food at Potterspury House. Indeed having access to Potterspury House came about from a network contact!
"It is so easy in the day-to-day rush of working life not to nurture your network of contacts. One of my nurturing ways is to bring contacts together once a month for a breakfast meeting where we can share knowledge and experiences, support each other and learn from each other. We build immense trust, and as we found out five years ago, you don't know when you urgently need support.
"Having that contact sphere of great people is also invaluable for our clients. So, when someone needs their insurance sorted, needs a new IT system, needs finance, needs an HR expert or whatever, we are able to make that vital introduction and make things better."
So, as Roger and Helen have proved, ignore your network at you peril! Here are three tips we can all learn from their experience:
Surround yourself with good people
Take the time to get to know a wide range of like-minded people in a diverse range of businesses. Not everyone will be your client, but at some time all those people may serve your business in some way as suppliers, sources of information or just for support to both you and others in your network. So, take your time getting to know people well and pick the people who have the technical skills and most importantly, the right attitude around collaboration and helping each other.
Nurture those relationships in the good times
Never be too busy to find the time for these people. That means scheduling in time to spend just catching up with what's important for them and seeking out ways to help. Then when you need them, these are the people who will be there with offers of help.
Acknowledge and thank the people who have contributed to your success
I often see people offer financial incentives to others to find business. A much more powerful way is to seek out how to help them in return and remembering your good manners in saying thank you. If nothing else it's a great excuse for a party!
So, thank you Roger and the whole team at Essendon for the great service you offer me as my accountant and as landlord for my offices. And thank you for the support you have given me over the years you have been part of my network.
"Would you like to know more?"
If you're looking for an accountant who offers a lot more than just adding up your numbers and dealing with HMRC then contact Roger or Helen at Essendon Accounts & Tax and if you'd like to talk further about developing your referral network then do give me a call on 07970 638857 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.
Until next time ...
More about Jacky Sherman ...
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those a-ha moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forward. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to work with Ascentiv and train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
What a fantastic way to earn a living!
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