Are you aware that a lot of your friends, perhaps some of them whom you still connect with regularly, might be scratching their heads as to how you make a living? It happens more often than you’d like to think to small businesses.
Everybody likes to do business with their friends, so it would behoove you to inform them about what you do.
Be cognizant of the need that you need to let your friends, family and acquaintances in on what is really happening with your small business. With your friends on board, they might even refer you to other new clients, thus making your sales and your business as a whole grow exponentially.
Right now you have lots of social and business networks of people who know you personally: from your clubs, recreational activities, school activities, religious affiliations, hobby groups and so on.
Your friends and acquaintances paint a picture of you based on your personal traits and character as an individual. Their main priority is friendship, and nothing else. Your means of livelihood is not their main concern.
So it’s up to you to tell them about how you can help when they (or others they know) need what you are selling. Your bottom line means everything in the business milieu, and your friends and acquaintances just might be the X-factor you need to increase those sales.
You should set an objective of being the man or woman of the moment whenever your friends have a problem that needs solving. It is perhaps time for a paradigm shift – the ubiquitous WIIFM, or What’s in it for Me maxim might as well be replaced by WCYDFM, which stands for What Can You Do for Me? To put it succinctly, “Are you worth turning to when it comes to solving my problem in the most effective and efficient way?”
Your friends know what type business you are engaged in – duh! “He has a garage, she owns a consulting service, he is a mortgage broker, she sells real estate” and so on. Sometimes, small businesses can have vague names, which cry out for further explanation.
Thus you would want to start with your friends and tell them with precision and detail what’s “that thing you do” that makes you money. Tell stories. Give easy-to-understand examples.
You probably already have one or two “elevator” speeches of 10 or 30 seconds explaining what you do. Create another one for your friends.
When telling other people what you do, let your voice carry your story-telling, share experiences in your own voice. Use your best judgment before subtly interjecting those stories, and learn the power of extemporaneous speaking.
Be conversational and free-flowing with your explanation and other people will tell THEIR own friends and acquaintances about that swell business you have. This how to use the multiplier effect: friends tell friends… who tell friends, etc.
A friend of mine once likened the search for new customers and clients to Sisyphus rolling that boulder up and down the hill – while it may seem endless, such routine becomes worth it when you seize the day and grab those opportunities as they come.
And please, if we may add, reciprocate. Pay it forward!