In a recent exploratory research with successful small business owners in India, I found most of them telling me that speaking to people has been the way they have found success. Seemed too banal to be a strategy for growth! But many of them were pretty successful by number of measures. I probed to see if technology had created the difference?
They had all made investments into technology. They all had iPads, iPhones or equivalent ones in cost, style, and technical prowess; they had invested in interesting websites, social media marketing, and enterprise software for their businesses. This was rather surprising considering the fact that many small business owners even recently used to consider technology cost, a spending rather than an investment! The trend seems to be towards utilizing technology in places where it can make money or save money. But when it came to sales, the singular success tip that they were sharing is – pick the phone and speak or otherwise get out of your office and meet potential customers face to face.
All of them, who were successful to even some measure, were of the opinion that speaking to people helps them build considerable trust, credibility and familiarity – and this enables customers make choices in their favour. Secondly, they also said that doing this on a regular basis kept them on top of their customers’ minds which helped them be the first choice even to ask for opinions and solutions. All of this kept their business always ticking.
While this is more exploratory in nature – one big learning that I share with all budding and early stage entrepreneurs is ‘speak more than you email/tweet/update’ – it will make your business grow faster! Try it!