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Customer Retention Newsletter
by Gail Eddy

Ways to stay Top-of-Mind - Get out of the Office and Meet People

One of the best ways to stay Top-Of-Mind with your potential clients is to get out of the office. Online networking is good, but to make a real connection, many times you need to have met the person, looked them in the eye, and shake their hand. Look for events that are happening in your area with your target market. (Donapostrophet know exactly who your target market is? Weapostrophell cover that in a future issue!)

Places to look:

Chamber of Commerce - many towns and cities have their own Chamber where business owners can network.

Meetup.com provides online communities and many have a physical presence as well. Search for your city and area of interest. (Or just type in "business".)

Business Networking International has chapters throughout the world.

eWomenNetwork has chapters throughout the US and Canada.

Before you go to the event, think about your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Is there a specific person youapostrophed like to meet, or a specific type of person? Be clear ahead of time about what your take-away from the event will be.

My most successful events tend to be the ones that I go to with the intention of helping as many people as I can. I listen to what they do. I ask questions about their hobbies and interests. I think about the person I met the week before who could use their products and offer to connect them. I try to make it all about them, and not so much about me. However, when I go to an event thinking: "Business is slow. I better meet some people that need our services." I tend to not meet as many people, or I meet only my competitors.

When you go, remember your goal is not to hand out as many business cards as you can in the next hour. (Or even to collect as many business cards as you can!) Your goal is to get to know a few people and make some real connections. The business will come later.

Pick your events carefully and be consistent about your attendance. Iapostropheve found that it takes up to four months to receive that first customer when I start attending a new event, and so I attend every time. Donapostrophet give up too early - keep attending and pretty soon people will know who you are and what you do! I donapostrophet want to over commit my time, so Iapostropheve selected three weekly events and two or three monthly events. (Yes, Iapostrophem attending three to five events every week!)

When you get back to the office, remember to follow up with everyone you met. Send them an email! Make a phone call! Send them a greeting card! If you do this, you will be among the few who make any contact after an event. This is a sure way for you - and your business - to be remembered. Put a system in place so that you will contact those people again several times over the next year.

Getting out of the office and meeting people is all about making real connections to build your network .. and your business.

Your Customer Retention Specialist,
Gail P. Eddy

About the author:

Gail is a Customer Retention Specialist with Send Out Cards, the easy online system for staying in touch with friends, family, business associates & CLIENTS! Send a real card with a real stamp, right from your computer at home. Month after month, 60-80% of Geek For Hire Inc.apostrophes appointments are from Repeat Customers and Referrals due to their consistent use of the Send Out Card system.

People donapostrophet care how much you know until they know how much you care. For a free trial, check out: www.SendOutCards.com/GeekForHire
© 2009 Gail P. Eddy