I know, you think it’s 20% of the people do 80% of the work OR maybe you’ve heard or read it under different descriptions. Well, I’ve decided to give 80/20 a new relationship: 80% is showing up and 20% is following up!
Others often comment they see me everywhere! IF someone sees me everywhere, doesn’t that imply they’re there, too? The truth is, I do participate often at events in my area. They may be info seminars, after hours, mixers, regular monthly membership meetings or any other networking opportunity that I believe can produce value. I like to show up. Connecting with friends, colleagues and creating new relationships are reasons to show up. You never know who you will meet and the difference you can make it someone’s life. You never know who you will meet and the difference that person can make it your life. The reality is, if you don’t show up, you’ll never know!
Sometimes, just the thought of changing outfits, getting in late day traffic and being sociable is enough to cause me to think twice about showing up. Would I rather switch into my sweats, engage in a book or watch mindless television after a full day? Sometimes, simply “YES”. Well, what usually happens is I force myself to get up, get out and get going. With few exceptions, it results in my having a great time. I’m seen – I’m engaged – and I undoubtedly create new contacts. When I get in the car, revisit the event, this is the familiar message that fills my head: ‘This is what you would’ve missed had you NOT shown up!’
Showing up is a critical part of building one’s business. How can anyone expect to be ‘top of mind’ if you remain invisible? Sure, there’s social media, email and phone. They are, without question, relevant in today’s crowded and competitive marketplace. However, for me, showing up – creating conversations – being present for possibilities is 80% of the marketing game. What’s the point of showing up if you don’t want to be remembered AND if you don’t follow up with the contacts you meet when something of mutual benefit is possible? One of the most significant strategies you can implement right now is follow up.
Reward is in the follow up. Rarely does anything of monetary value happen between chicken wings, artichoke spread on crackers and wine. The social, networking scene for the most part is a crowded event where conversations are loud, business cards are exchanged (After all, you need a real estate agent, a new insurance agent or financial planner right now, correct?) and the way people think business is conducted. I approach it differently. Who might I meet – the few treasures I can discover among the crowd –I think I can assist or might be genuinely interested in speaking with me and learning about my organization? I don’t push a business card on anyone and only ask someone for their card if I believe there’s something of value for both of us. I request someone’s card when I intend to follow up! Notice, I didn’t say, if.
Don’t get me wrong. Although money may not directly result from a developing relationship, there’s a much better chance for it to happen when a conversation continues, a thank you note is sent, an invitation to a future event is offered or a referral is given. Your ability and commitment to consistently follow up builds your reputation and that’s worth its weight in gold. The respect you create, the relationships you cultivate and the professionalism you deliver will ultimately result in business.
You must show up and follow up if you want to distinguish yourself from your competitors. By doing so, you are strengthening and building your share of business. Don’t believe me. Test it for yourself and let me know. You have the last quarter of 2010 to prove me right or wrong.