Posted On: 2006-02-14
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Welcome, welcome, welcome. I'm Anita Campbell, your host of Small Business Trends radio, and I'm so glad you could join us today. The topic of today's show is, "Building your Network to Grow your Small Business." And in just a few minutes I'll be introducing Rex Hammock, our featured guest today. This is a show you definitely want to stay with us for. Learning from others is the most popular way small business owners seek answers and make decisions. Rex will be exploring how to build a network of trusted advisors, the value you can get from your network, and why it has never been easier to do.
But first, this is when we do our Today's Trend segment. And today's trend is that of networking to sell to small businesses. One of the challenges of selling to small businesses or reaching them with your message, is finding enough small businesses to sell to without spending a fortune doing it. And that applies no matter what size your company is, whether you represent a large corporation, or a small business that sells to other small businesses. Now looking at the facts, one trend we have identified is that of building relationships. And that it plays a big, and I mean a huge, role in attracting new small business customers.
In November 2005, we conducted a survey on the topic of selling to the small business market. And one conclusion that I can safely make from that survey is that relationships rule. In fact, color me amazed. I expected people to say that leveraging relationships was important to their business. But even I was blown away by the degree to which people overwhelming cited relationship building techniques as crucial to bringing them new customers. A whopping 83% of vendors find their small business customers through referrals, more than twice the number that secure customers through cold calling. And 52% find customers through networking events, another method for developing relationships. So what are the implications of this trend? Well, two things that should be obvious. First, it pays to develop relationships with small business owners and staff. It can pay you back right to the top line of your...