I spent a few hours in our main greenhouse today “potting on” some tomato, cucumber, and pepper seedlings.
For non-gardeners, potting on is a critical activity where you transplant a young seedling from a seed tray or small pot to a larger pot. It gives the roots of the plant more room to grow and more compost to grow in.
If you don't pot your seedlings on they can become weak and “leggy” with not enough space to expand and not able to pull enough nutrients from the compost.
Business relationships often need “potting on” too. Whether you're trying to nurture face to face relationships with people you meet at events or online relationships with newsletter subscribers.
Everyone talks about “keeping in touch”, but it takes rather more than that if your goal is winning clients.
It takes more than just a quick chat at networking events. Or occasional emails to tell people what you're doing.
Winning Clients is about Nurturing Relationships
Just as plants need more nutrients and more space to grow and bear fruit, you've got to build more depth into your relationships if you want them to bear fruit too.
Before potential clients are going to be ready to hire you they have to have deep confidence in your capabilities and trust that your relationship with them will work out. That won't just come from casual conversations at events. But it might come if you invite them to see you present. Or you send them an article you've written. Or they talk to some of your previous clients.
The key to winning clients is to take a planned approach to your nurturing. Just as an expert gardener knows what a plant needs to flourish, so an expert business developer knows what a client needs before they'd be ready to hire them. And as they grow, that's exactly what they give them. In just the right amount, at just the right time.
When the relationship needs “potting on”, that's what they do.
So, how are your gardening skills? Do you know what your client relationships need to flourish and bear fruit? Do you have plans in place to give them that nourishment?
Image by “Katemonkey”