Monday, July 18, 2011

Networking 101 - Planting Seeds

Do you carry business cards with you?
Do you wear your own product?
Are you comfortable and confident when speaking about your product?

Well you should be, and here's why:

I cannot tell you how many customers we have had the pleasure of doing business with - not because they ask about my jewelry - but because I mention theirs!  That's right! I mention theirs.  Below is a real conversation that took place while on line in my local Starbucks.  It can happen to anyone, anywhere.

Me: "Ooo, I love your necklace.  Is that Rock Love?"  Them: "Yes, how did you know?"  Me: "I'm a big fan.  I would recognize Allisons' work anywhere." Them: "Me too, I love my necklace"  Me: [pulling out my business card case] forgive me for being presumptuous.  I'm a local jewelry designer, whose style is organic and raw - lots of free hand wire wrapping, big rocks and crystals, etc.  Here is my card in case you would like to see more of our work. Them: [looking at the pictures on the back of the card] "Wow, beautiful stuff.  I'll definitely check out the site" Me: "Thank you"  

...That was the end of it.  I went on to place my drink order and they theirs; we went our separate ways.   The very next day I received an order for three custom pieces.    

It doesn't always work out like that.  Sometimes it takes weeks before I hear from them.  Sometimes I never hear from them at all, and that's okay.  I think about it like this - one more business card is one more seed planted.   

We would love to hear your thoughts... 

Are you comfortable being the initiator?
How would you react in a similar situation?  
Do you or have you gotten business from the most unlikely of places?
Any tips for fellow readers on what has worked or not worked for you?



Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

Hi! I am paying a little visit to some of my old friends from the etsy forums today -- I really wish they hadn't changed it over there.

Glad to see you're still blogging! Stop by any time!

:) Maureen

Babs said...

I found your blog through another Etsy shop owner that mentioned it in an article. I know what you mean about promoting daily. I was on a train yesterday with tons of Giants baseball fans heading for a home game and I was thinking the entire time that I should have business cards available to hand out. I sell baby booties, including some MLB themes booties for the Giants. You never know when you can share with someone what you do. Thanks for the story and inspiration.