It truly amazes me how much can be done over a cup of coffee. What follows is that true story.
Once upon an Inside919 Coffee Break, Peter Agiovlassitis, a friend of mine who I met at the Wake Zone Espresso, solved almost every problem of the day. As we sat waiting for the others (who never appeared) to arrive and drinking some of the Wake Zone's fine coffee, we discussed raising kids, marketing our businesses, global politics, poverty, famine, world unrest, etc. You know...the usual stuff.
Peter and I hit it off there and though he has never become a patient of mine, he has become a friend and confidant. I don't expect those who I meet at these things to become customers or patients, but this is how businesses used to grow.
I've met many, many people since I've been involved in Inside919 (and I've still got stacks of cards to prove it) and I don't think I have ever made a sales pitch there. I'd say that most of them have not come to me personally as patients, which is perfectly fine with me, but some have referred others, because of the trust I have instilled in them.
In my grandfathers town of approximately 2000 people, he was able to build a strong insurance business (R.B. Deaton Insurance Agency in Ellerbe, NC. The name was still on the side of the building last I checked, even though he passed away 20 years ago.) with those he'd meet with on Monday mornings at the corner gas station where they would take a break and chat with the other guys about the most recent fishing or hunting trip around the coke-a-cola cooler. He would build his business also at church where they wouldn't dare to talk business (Southern Baptists) and at the barber shop where it was common place to talk about business and family in the same breath. "Hey, R.B.! How's the insurance business and how is Pearl (my grandmother)?" they would ask.
What do all these places and events have in common?
What they all had in common was normal conversation. Not one single sales pitch was ever made at one of them. The people involved were interested in being friends and hearing each other's story first. I'm sure that sometimes friendships would sour and not last, but I'm equally sure that those instances were few and far between.
Think about it. No one wants to be sold to. I'm not buying from someone I don't know and trust, unless there is no other option. And today there are tons of options, especially with the population inside the 919 area code. (Wake county is now THE most populous county of the 100 counties in the whole state of NC.)
Chances are that many of your long-term clients, customers, or patients pass many of your competitors to get to you. Why would they do this? Its because they trust you. Price is not often the motivating factor. and if it is, they are not usually with you for long.
Inside919.com has given me the opportunity to build a solid business today in Cary, which has a population that is around 70 times that of my grandparent's home town. And it has allowed me to do so now, and during this economy, the way my grandfather did it over 60 years ago.
Inside919.com is your coke-a-cola cooler at the corner gas station, your barber shop, your gathering place for whatever purpose - primarily to build relationships. And these may or may not end up building your business. Either way, get involved in more of it than just doing your Inside919 online, in your pajamas! Use the tools provided to you, free of charge, like the coffee breaks and the monthly socials, and have faith. It WILL grow!
But never go to a coffee break wearing your leopard-print Snuggy or your Hoody-Footy!
There you go! Another problem solved!