When I was a young jewelry store manager, I tried many things to increase my store’s sales. Some worked; some didn’t. One day, my car, a Datsun B210, broke down and I had to have it towed. In talking with the tow truck driver, I mentioned that I managed a jewelry store and I’d be happy to have him as a customer. Sure enought, a week or so later, he came in and bought a present for his wife.
After that, I carried business cards everywhere I went. Given the right opening, I’d pull one out. However, it didn’t occur to me that I could take networking to the next level by joining the local Rotary club or becoming active in the Chamber of Commerce. Back then, I told myself I “didn’t have the time” to do that.
Years later I discovered it was not a lack of time that was the issue, it was my inability to prioritize my tasks. Had I thought about it, I might have realized that by joining local organizations and getting my name, and that of my store, out in the public, I could have been generating more business.
If you’re telling yourself that you don’t have time to network, or to do something else, stop and take a hard look at how you are prioritizing your “to do” list. Are you working from habits that were developed when the economy was strong? Should you reassess your work habits to make sure that you are being as productive as possible? When was the last time you tried something new?
Later this summer, I’ll be working several days out of the office. I’ll spend those days by myself re-evaluating the past year and asking myself what I liked about it and what I want to do differently in the next 12 months.I’ve done this three years in a row now and have found it to be extremely beneficial.
Take some time to re-evaluate your work habits.What are your strengths in dealing with customers? What can you do better? How effectively do you prioritize your time?