Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Have You Forgotten This?

I had!

I’d got my contacts list all cleaned up, and the “follow-up” mechanism working just fine, thank you.

Each morning an on-screen list of who-I-should-touch-today, and at the end of the day a satisfying feeling that I was keeping in touch with my contacts on a monthly basis rather than just sending them a card at Christmas time.

Then it dawned on me – at least one of my small group of peer-to-peer net workers was NOT on my contacts list?

Why Not?

Probably because we had met, quickly corresponded by phone and email several times in the first week and in subsequent weeks had started to work together on boosting our visibility to our target markets.

Stop Reading - and Do this Now:

Paper-and-pencil time.

Write down the names of those you consider to be your pals in the world of the Transitional Entrepreneur.

Like this:


Who are these people? These people are the ones you call, and will continue to call, when you have a question about what you need to do next, when you question your sanity, when you need a shoulder to cry on, when you need to celebrate landing that $US6,872 contract and the cheque arrives.

I have eight entrepreneurs on my list; three of them are suppliers (I have paid them small sums of money in the past for goods and services); one of them is new to me, but has already proven himself as a valuable source of ideas for marketing; one is in a business so radically different from mine, and yet we share her passion for her work and have done for over seven years.

Don’t sweat the accuracy, but if you don’t have at least 5 names on your list, go find some more “family”, and if you have more than 10 names on your list, think carefully.

This is not a list of people I enjoy chatting with at, and in between networking events.

This is a list of people who are gradually getting to know me in quite a personal way; people who learn that I can’t afford to pay for lunch this week; people who I trust to read through my confidential pricing in the proposals.

What to Do Next?

Check that each of these precious people are on your contact list, and that the follow-up date is not more than two weeks away.

I am suggesting that this small group of familiar people represents your first circle of valuable contacts, and more than anyone else they are out there pounding, as we say in the trade, the pavement - keeping their ears open for opportunities for YOU.

You owe it to them to feed them snippets of useful information, useful to THEM.

At least once a fortnight.

And it need not be an extensive email dialogue. It’ll be enough that they get a truly useful link to an article or a gadget, or a possibility of a new contact for them.

It better be valuable; it better be free; and it better be directly useful to them.

They deserve it.

They are your family.

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