It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that selling is a contacts sport. I am a true believer of this. Yes, I have dragged myself to countless canvassing, cold calls, industry networking and social events. It can be dreadful and time consuming. Truly.
Despite the down side, I see it as a flight to my destination. See, years ago, when I first started working in Design and Build industry, I was a nobody, a freshie – no experience, no contacts, no knowledge of the business. I had to build everything from scratch.
I remember knocking the doors of every boutique in a shopping mall, trying to get a contact person’s details and cold calling them everyday. I would create a list of all industry related consultant agencies that could possibly give me business. Yes, it wasn’t easy. It was getting as many people to know your name and what you do. This is like my flight taking off – full throttle till I am in the air.
Then we get to a cruise mode. By the end of my first year, I had slowed down in sourcing for new contacts. I was spending time forming a stronger bond with my network through coffees, lunches, dinners and what have you. I was becoming a trusted business contact. These contacts made and relationship built, were coming to me with business.
I am still on a cruise mode, still building my contacts network but am working on getting to autopilot mode. Someday, there will be no more crazy canvassing, cold calling and attending events that could possibly be a miss altogether. I can be selective as and when I would like to attend an event or do cold calling for the kick and business will still grow.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you change industry. The contacts will still be worth something at some point. They may need or want your service or product, if not know someone who will . So keep doing it till you are at auto pilot mode.