Resourceful people tend to be very popular. They’re the ones who take the phone calls no one else can handle, who always have a good idea when you get stuck, who people go to knowing that even if they don’t get an answer, they’ll be pointed in the right direction. They’re the ones who the headhunters call no matter what position is available because they just know they will know someone.
Clients love to do business with resourceful people and never think of them as vendors or suppliers because they have transformed themselves into business resources.
You can become a resource by reading and listening and networking and collecting. Pay attention, absorb information and listen carefully and you’ll be able surprise and delight your customers with how much you know and how you always seem to find just the right solution for whatever ails them.
“Suzy, I know you’ve been thinking about nursery school for your Amanda. I just happened to see a few articles that look like they might be helpful in choosing one.” While this may have nothing you do with the widgets you sell, it says something very special about you. It says you are listening to a client’s personal concern and that you are willing to go out of your way to help.
Becoming a resource isn’t hard. It takes some attention though. First take a look at your audience – who are they what are their concerns? I deal with a lot of small to medium size business owners and I know a lot about their concerns, both business and professional, and jump in where I think I can be useful.
I’ll share an article (I still like ripping them out of magazines and putting them in the mail with a stamp and a hand written envelope!) an email, a podcast that may be of interest. I share this website and others that go out of their way to understand you and your market.
I’m always on the lookout for handy “to do” articles on stress management, getting rid of cold quickly, being happier, and doing more with less. Those “lighter side” communications shout “I care” when delivered at the right time.
I keep up my own education so I can be more helpful. What can you do? Start some folders in your outlook with interesting relevant articles? Keep an ongoing Evernote file? Read your customer’s trade publications so you know what’s going on in their world? Start a newsletter or other regular communication that addresses both the professional and personal concerns of the people you serve? Start a customer council or user group and bring in the specialists that make your customer’s lives easier?
A friend hosts a “Meeting of the Minds” meeting every month and brings together prospects and customers and some local resource that can add value to their meeting. SHE’s the one that’s gotten the reputation for being resourceful because she had the wisdom to set it all up.
Be curious and challenge yourself to be the most resourceful one in town!
PS: My favorite way to keep my resources organized: http://www.evernote.com