The cool thing about business friendships is the inherent motivation we all have to be sociable. It’s part of our DNA. Even when the folks who live in your immediate area are a bit more reticent than the average American, forging business friendships is always good for business.
Extending a handshake could be the start of a productive and enjoyable business relationship, but if you miss those spur-of-the-moment opportunities to forge alliances with other professionals, that productive force will simply dissipate. Networking with other small business owners remains the time-honored way to grow a successful enterprise or professional practice. Surely the average small business owner would agree, but we’ve all experienced a string of days in which we failed to take advantage of strategic opportunities that arose with short warning. It’s frustrating!
Face it: Every business owner is pressed for time. Distractions abound, dulling our ability to seize the moment when a high-value proposition comes our way. And we’ve all seen a conversational partner start to fidget as they eye the watch on their wrist. Time waits for no one.
Here’s the solution: Learn to surf! You need to get atop the proverbial surfboard and catch the wave. The next time you see a strategic opportunity to talk shop, seize the moment. Ask engaging questions. Afterwards commit the interchange to memory, so it doesn’t end up a stillbirth effort of what could have been.
Remember that what appears to be merely small talk is actually a strategic opportunity to increase your social status and raise the profile of your business. And here’s the cool aspect: Some of those opportunities will simply come your way, as the tide brings in a new flux of networking opportunities. Others you must actively pursue. Either way, keep growing your influence through business friendships.
It’s imperative to chase those strategic opportunities. Take your business or practice to the next level.
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