As business people we need to take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture. Business is about relationships and taking the time to build a positive, honest, and trusting relationship for the future. When you think about it, everyone can be a customer. They may not be a direct customer to your business, but you never know who someone else is connected to. Referrals from connections are a great way to help build your business!

Wherever I go and whatever I’m doing, I always expect to make a connection with somebody for my business. I make sure to have a nice supply of business cards with me and I’m completely expecting to run into somebody who might bring new business to my company. Always remember, when handing out your business cards to a new connection, to give them three cards; one for themselves and two to pass along as a referral when needed. This is why it’s very important to have a nice supply on hand at all times!

I can’t tell you how many people, that when I ask for their business card, say, “Oh, I don’t have one.” What?! When you’re out promoting your brand you should always have business cards with you. The last first impression that you want to give off is being unprepared. Before you leave the house every morning, take a minute and prepare. Put business cards or other little marketing items in your pocket or purse before you leave the house because you never know who you’re going to run into. A perfect example is when I ran into a guy at Rudy’s Redeye Grill back in 2008. That one little chance connection resulted in thousands of closing transactions over the next several years.

Another great thing to remember when meeting someone new for the first time is to write down a few things on their business card that will help you remember them. Then as soon as you have a chance, see if you can connect with them on LinkedIn. If they are on LinkedIn, remember to personalize a request to connect with them with details of how you met and maybe even what you talked about. LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch to build your relationship, learn about mutual connections, and find new connections!

Building a new relationship is great, but you also don’t want to forget about your current relationships! For example; your doctor, dentist, nail technician, hair stylist, paper delivery person, friend’s neighbor, etc… The list goes on and on and these are the people that you probably already have strong relationships with and will always have the potential to pass business your way.

Remember, always be looking for ways to make new connections and don’t forget about the connections that you already have. Everyone can be a customer even if they may never use your product or service, because you never know who they know!