As a client there is nothing worse than dealing with someone who is unorganized and comes across as unprofessional.
Similarly, as a solopreneur there is nothing worse than being overwhelmed by bad communication, that you don’t get the opportunity to showcase your creativity or share your skills with potential clients.
If you want to get clients and keep them for many years to come, then use these smart tips to have good business manners.
Make people remember you on a personal level.
I like going to networking events, but I could live without the experience of meeting someone for the first time who only talks about themselves — and trust me there is one at every event.
Has that ever happened to you at a conference, party or networking event?
I know we have to promote ourselves in order to grow a sustainable business, but there is a way to do so it doesn’t seem forced, and will help potential clients remember your name.
If you want to promote yourself and your services you definitely have to meet new people, but the key to being successful is having people remember us as a person and not just as a business.
You want to build relationships with people — not with corporations — and the same is true when you want people to build relationships with your brand.
The next time you’re at a party or networking event, politely introduce yourself to a potential connection or a potential client, but always keep it short and simple.
Just introduce yourself, your line of work (or title), shake their hand and then talk with them on a personal level. Be friendly, approachable, smile and strive to make a personal connection.
Before you part ways, leave your business card behind. If the person wants to know more about you or find you again, trust me, they will look you up. Potential clients are more likely to remember you as the nice, relate-able business person, more than just a freelance financial writer.
Keep the lines of communication open.
A new client can come from anywhere, at any time. This is why it’s a good idea to always stay in communication with contacts (it’s important to keep your contacts warm), even if you haven’t actually done business together yet.
When you meet someone new, send them an email within a few days and let them know it was nice meeting them at the event. Your email should have a signature with your website, twitter account and other social media information, so people can easily find you online.
If you want to grow your business, you have to make it easy for people to find you. If you receive an email, it’s considered good manners to respond within 48 hours.
I once asked another blogger a question and I received a reply three months later. I will never refer business to, or use that blogger as a reference ever again.
Emails are accessible almost everywhere — through laptops and smart phones — so the quicker you answer the better.
What’s your favorite tip for using good business manners to keep new clients?