How We Secure Out-of-State Business from Nevada
Everything about Reno, Nev. is ideal to us. We love where we live. We love owning a technology business here. But living away from the already established major hubs such as New York and San Francisco require us to attract new business using a more intricate process. In the process, we are able to prove strong business relationships and quality work can come from the most unexpected places.
As the CEO, it’s imperative I keep up on business relations. It’s the first step to keeping your business alive. Since I’ve chosen to operate in Nevada and secure out of state clients, I have to constantly be on “my game.”
I grow our client base by using a plethora of traditional methods in a new technology world.
If you only mine LinkedIn for business leads, you aren’t using the networking tool to your best advantage. I’ve found the way to nurture relationships is to reach out and start a genuine connection. Email and phone calls are still our best bets.
To create an effective relationship methodology, make sure you work your existing connections, as they’ll help you discover and cultivate potential clients. Business relationships can work the same as friendships – once you’re introduced to the circle you have plenty of people to grow with.
I’m constantly proactive. I interact with current and desired clients after being introduced or working together by forwarding articles that pertain to their industry and adding positive, insightful comments that directly relate to their business. It provides them the time and attention they need from us in an engaging way, rather than a sales pitch, and serves as a reminder that we’re thinking about them.
Once I’ve captured their interest in an email, I take the conversation offline – I pick up the phone and make a genuinely connection via voice communication. The dialogue isn’t specifically focused on our companies working together, but rather a rewarding swap of insight and experience that furthers the business friendship. Many times we’ll talk about emerging technologies, an article in Fast Company, or topics most companies seek advice on, such as “are we attracting the right employees?” and “are we doing enough to retain them?” I ask them for advice as much as I dish it.
But what seals the deal is face time. Living in Reno has the advantage of using a small airport with direct flights to larger markets. I can get in and out of security quickly and in just over an hour be in the Bay Area or Los Angeles.
I use my time to visit existing clients, and book meetings with potential ones. Buying dinners, drinks, and tickets to games is an easy way to continue phone conversations and email chains, and really connect with people. Most of my trips are short and packed with back-to-back meetings. Yet, I still make a point to book meetings with potential clients I’ve been in communication with. I also place a sense of urgency on the meeting. I let them know I’m only in town for two days and provide them with a few time slots to choose from so they have to confirm quickly. Phone conversations and emails are great but nothing beats a handshake. It’s the most meaningful and memorable way to build the friendship. It also demonstrates how much I value personal relationships first, business second.
During these client meetings, mentioning projects and potential ways we can work together ends up closing the deal. By the time we’ve reached that point in the conversation, I’ve nurtured the relationship so much, that signing off on new business feels natural. I always say people like doing business and working with people they like.
I’m fortunate to be a part of the transitional generation of business leaders. I grew up in an era where personal relationships and referrals were the key to business growth, but I’m also building my business by integrating modern technology. If you want your business to survive in today’s economy, you have to learn how to build genuine relationships on and offline.