Over the next year, the director reports to Sam and his wife on the progress of the initiative.
The next year, it is easy to call upon Sam again to ask for additional support, or to support a different initiative. The relationship has been built, and the charity will continue to devote a lot of energy in growing this relationship.
This is the lesson entrepreneurs can learn from non-profits. For example, when considering a joint venture, who might the best person be to approach? Maybe the best person is the person at the top of his or her field and has no idea you even exist. Maybe you feel you need to stay within your own â€œleague,â€?even though the endorsement of this person could boost your business immeasurably.
Instead of picking up the phone, barging into that person's office, or sending an email out of the blue, take time to develop an approach plan. Research the person, perhaps determine if you have any mutual acquaintances, come up with a legitimate reason to contact this person, and then grow the relationship with care and consideration. Be genuine about wanting to create win-win situations, and accept that growing relationships takes time.
If you build your business with some of these principles, you might be amazed at the cadre of wise, experienced, and influential people who might make themselves available to you. And as for car dealers, the truth is that they DO proactively court customers like Sam. Who is your ideal customer? Consider how a charity might begin and foster a relationship with that person, and develop your own plan accordingly. If you have several relationship plans at various stages of development, you will soon see your base of highly qualified, eager customers grow.
Holly Zenith is a motivational author and netpreneur, who has also worked extensively with non-profits in helping them grow their donor bases. Visit her website at http://www.hollyzenith.com