New Kid on the Block

Last Updated Sep 15, 2008 8:54 PM EDT

Let's pretend you've just moved to a new town where you know no one and no one knows you. No friends, no acquaintances. You're all alone.

So what are you going to do?

Well once you've stopped sobbing and composed yourself, the chances are you'll venture out in pursuit of new friendships.

You smile at people, start conversations, get involved with local happenings, that sort of stuff. Before long you'll make a couple of connections and little by little begin to feel like a valued member of the community.

In business, growing relationships that may ultimately result in new clients (whether directly or through referral) is a very similar process. However, where many businesses behave very differently --- and dangerously --- is the moment they become busy.

For too many of us, busy means little or no time is put aside to undertake the most basic staying in touch actions. This has the effect of bringing marketing to a total halt.

It's the equivalent of cultivating a small circle of friends in your new town only to shun them when you're preoccupied.

Furthermore, by becoming complacent with your small circle, you'll appear unfriendly and uncommunicative in the eyes of others.

Staying in touch through genuine, personal dialogue and making an effort to strengthen and broaden your circle is essential to any business that wants to avoid the peaks and troughs.

We all need to make time to nurture existing and new relationships, even when we're really busy.

So who needs to be hearing from you? Who's slipped off your radar?

Can you think of five people you should make contact with this week? Thought so.

  • Robert Gerrish

    Robert Gerrish is a coach, author and professional speaker and the founder of Flying Solo (, the Australian online community for solo business owners.