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The Shortest Distance Between Two Points

Remember me?  I use to write a blog on this site with some regularity but it has been a while…

Fortunately for me, we have been busier than a one-legged cat trying to bury a mouse on a frozen pond which is the only reason I have not been here more often.  So, when it has been a while between posts, you know I am ‘drinking water from a fire hose’, work-wise.

I have been getting a lot of calls and emails from people, which I enjoy getting, just tossing and bouncing around ideas that may help them build new business.   I am spending more time in airports in the past few months which, especially during the summer, means I am spending more time waiting on planes.  This is not all bad as it gives me a little extra time to reply to such inquiries.  I even hopped back on LinkedIn’s Question and Answers section to do a little posting and replying, which brings me to today’s topic.

I had a meeting this week with a new client and the topic was, if you can imagine this, building new business.  As we were talking, his enthusiasm was obvious as we talked about his marketing and business development plan. 

As we discussed the technical side of pricing…you know, plan acquisition, estimating, submittals, lead management, etc. I shared with him my thoughts on the time line between when any entity moves from being a ‘total stranger’ to a ‘paying customer’ and how our job is to make that time line as short as possible.

I am a big believer that the offerings of ‘Social Media’ can help in that endeavor.   The question that I took time to answer on LinkedIn was responding to the question:

‘Have you used Twitter successfully to promote your business?’ 

My reply was, in a word, ‘Yes’.  I give some specific examples of how Twitter has helped me generate revenue.

Just like this blog, I use to ‘Tweet’ all the time after being one of the early naysayers about Twitter.  However, I have learned that while there is nothing magical about Twitter, it is simply a tool to allow others to get to know you, or your business, a little better. 

For the very curious follow this link to my full answer: http://tw9.us/dp

Now, the point of this blog is not to promote Twitter, Facebook, Fastpitch, etc. but rather to emphasize the concept that while the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, the best line between ‘stranger’ and ‘paying customer’ is the shortest line.

I am a big believe in that you help yourself create the shortest line by breeding familiarity.  Allowing prospects to get to know you as a person as well as getting to know you as a representative of your company.

Allow me to once again quote Jeffrey Gitomer and if you do not get his free weekly ‘e-zine’, sign up as soon as you are done reading this.:

“All things being equal, people buy from people they like … and, all things not being equal, people still buy from people they like.”  (http://www.gitomer.com/)

How do you get someone to like you?  They have to get to know you.  Social media is nothing more than a way to promote you and/or your business.  However, if you are already active in this type of promotion or are in the beginning stages, remember to budget your time accordingly and to never confuse activities with results.

In closing, I want to offer something that I do for each new client.  My favorite business magazine is ‘INC’ as I not only learn from each issue; I get inspired by the real stories of entrepreneurs as they churn the wheels of commerce.  Each new client gets a free one-year subscription to ‘INC’ and I would like to offer the first person to email me a free subscription as well. 

Thanks for reading, keep on keeping on and let’s do all we can to turn this economy around.

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Bobby Darnell is the founder and Principal of Construction Market Consultants, Inc. An Atlanta based management consulting group specializing in business development, sales, marketing and profitability as well as executive placement for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry.

Bobby can be reached at bobbydarnell [at] cmconl.com

www.cmconl.com

About the Author

Bobby Darnell is the founder and Principal of Construction Market Consultants, Inc., An Atlanta based management consulting group specializing in CRM, Business Development, Sales, Marketing as well as Executive Placement and Recruiting for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry.

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