Networking for Painting Contractors
Are there lots of painting contractors in your community? What sets you apart from them? Short on advertising dollars? Well consider networking as an inexpensive way to market yourself and your business. Sure, its been a long day and the last thing you want to do is get out there and attend a networking function, well do it anyway because your competition might be out there. Networking is a sure way to get to know people within the community and to put a face to your business name. People want to do business with people that they know and trust. Opportunities within your community might include joining a Contractors Group, Chamber of Commerce, or becoming involved with a local charitable group, also consider searching the Internet for national networking groups in your area. There are many networking opportunities available, you just need to find one that suits your interests. The more interested you are in the group, the more likely you will stay involved and grow relationships with others.
Some tips for effectively networking yourself and your painting business:
o Networking is a time to meet people and get to know them. This is not a forum for you to “sell”, but rather an opportunity for you to connect and meet new people. Being personable and genuinely interested in the other person and their organization is a surefire way for them to remember you.
o Consider the gender your talking to. Men and women use networking differently, learn how to close the gap. Men tend to view networking events as transactional while women tend to view networking as relationship building.
o Make the connection. Arrive early and start introducing yourself to others. People love to talk about themselves and their business, so be ready with a few “open-ended” questions to move the conversation along.
o Bring plenty of business cards and make sure you get them from others. Jot down any notes about your conversations that may require followup during the week.
o Follow-up each week with a few people you have met. Make a phone call send an e-mail or arrange a breakfast, lunch, or coffee meeting with those you might like to get to know more.
At one time or another everyone will need painting or know someone who does. Remember, people want to do business and refer others to people they know and trust. Building business relationships takes time and work, but can be an invaluable resource for your business. So set yourself apart from all the other painting contractors in your area by becoming known within the community and watch your referral base grow! Sometimes it is about who you know!
Do you network locally? Share your ideas and experiences with us in the comments section below.
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