This article was first seen at launchingcreative.com
The power of networking has been proven time and time again. While many focus on networking by joining a group or attending events, there is one thing that is sometimes forgotten in the process, simple courtesy.
You meet someone that you feel can be beneficial in your path to growth for your business or idea, but then realize that they are either not interested or not at the right place in their career to help you. Then you dismiss them, right?
Anyone could be a potential client. It could be the cashier you meet at the store, the mechanic that works on your car, or the friend who sent you a random e-mail to say hi. When you are not courteous, you lose a potential client. As the old adage says, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
When you are not courteous, you lose a potential client.
Back when I was still deciding on whether to start my own freelance writing business, I had a friend who had a business where she would offer coaching for entrepreneurs. I stumbled upon her website while I was researching what the pros and cons were of freelancing. I started to read her blog and felt inspired enough to follow through with my freelance writing career.
Her words were monumental in helping me to bravely leap into the freelance world. I commented on a few of her blog post and mentioned how much I loved what she wrote and asked her a few questions. Never once did she reply
Because she felt that as a friend it was not necessary to reply to me about business matters. Her answer would have been extremely helpful. And I would have procured her services.
But guess what? Because she did not take the time to reply to my questions, even if she thought I was not really interested in her services, she lost me as a customer. And she lost all the customers I could have referred to her. There is no better advertising than word of mouth.
Mika Lawson, owner of Mikarose clothing company, mentioned during an interview at Startup Grind that what helped her clothing line to become successful was when her clothing was acquired by Costco. This occurred when a manager of one of the Costcos contacted her to come in and inform him on why he should have her line and why he should do business with her.
Although she was extremely nervous, she quickly gathered a few samples of her product, prepared a presentation, and arrived early to the meeting on the day of the appointment. While sitting at his office and describing the need for her product at his store, she noticed a picture of someone she knew on his desk.
When she mentioned this, he said, “That’s my son.” It turned out that she had spent time with his son doing humanitarian work. Right then and there he picked up the phone, called his son and said, “What can you tell me about Mika Lawson? What kind of person is she?”
There is no better advertising than word of mouth.
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Because he was impressed with the character referral his son gave him, this manager fought tooth and nail to get her product at his Warehouse and many other Costcos. As a result of this fortuitous start, Mikarose currently sells their product in more than 600 stores and ten different countries.
Although there were many other factors that played a role in their success, this was nevertheless monumental.
The role of courtesy in business can simply be summed up by remembering what you learned in Kindergarten. First, answering questions when asked (without sarcasm). Second, treating others like you want to be treated. And most importantly, exercising patience.
There can be instances where no amount of hard work, talent, or connection can help your business succeed if people don’t like you. No one likes a rude person. The simple, but sometimes forgotten, practice of politeness could lead to connecting to someone able and willing to help your creative idea.
Maximize the simple things and you will be surprised how far it can take you.