How do you know what the next man is thinking? There is no certain way to answer that question correctly except the man tells you himself. How does the next man know what you do except you tell him? If you cannot talk, you might as well get out of business. Every business owner must learn the ART of talking about their business even without being asked. By this I mean being able to make your business a part of your everyday chat.
Word of mouth has always been and will always be the cheapest and most efficient means of advertisement. Think about how many new people you meet in a week, how many of them do you leave with the awareness of what you do. I often get amazed when I meet people for the first time and I ask them “tell me more about you” and all they can say is their name, their state, marital status, where they live and their profession. Meanwhile this same person has a small poultry farm in his backyard or sells kerosene but never mentions it. Sometimes, I have to go a step further to ask if there are any other businesses they are involved in before they begin to churn out myriads of other businesses they do and personal skill services they can provide some of which I eventually patronize or refer people who might need such services.
No business is too small to talk about
Not everybody would bother asking you what businesses you do or the skills services you can offer; if you don’t mention it, it is as good as not existing. No business is too small to talk about whether well-established or not. Even potential business ideas (yet to be established) can be talked about such that you already have customers or find potential investors/partners even before you start the business. How far your business would grow is based on how well you talk about it. The life of your business is in your tongue.
You might think selling kerosene is such a small side-business you do that there’s no need to mention it but who knows? You might coincidentally meet someone who wants you to supply him kerosene monthly. If you keep quiet, your business would be quiet. If you want a flourishing business, learn to talk passively about it to everyone you meet.
Never do this
Never meet a new person who could be a potential client, without letting them know what you do. I have a media and IT agency called 3 POINTS. Most of our top clients are people I met at a restaurant, cinema, shopping malls, conferences, etc. You might think the person you meet wouldn’t need the type of services you offer. Are you a magician? How do you know that for sure? Why not just say it passively. The person might truly not be interested but might know someone who is and can refer them to you.
A business card can talk too
I agree sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to talk about it due to time constraints or it’s just not the perfect time or environment, this is where your business card becomes handy. If you don’t have a business card, then you have not truly started. With N8000 or thereabout, you can get a presentable business card done. You must get one.
How to talk passively
In order not to sound too forward or talk out of context, you would have to learn how to talk about your business PASSIVELY without the other person realizing you just changed the topic. *Did you notice I had stylishly chipped in the fact that I have a media and IT agency into this discussion? *This often requires practice to master. See an example below.
Supposing you meet someone newly and both of you began talking about the current situation of the economy. A good way to chip in your business/services is to find a way of linking it up with the ongoing discussion. For example you have a hairdressing salon business, you could say “Oh yes, the economy is so terrible. I remember one of my clients complaining about it in my hair dressing salon on Sunday.” If the person is interested, he/she may respond by saying: “Oh you run a salon?” You say: “Yes, I do”. And then you can use the opportunity to talk extensively on it.
This technique would not make you appear desperate, rude or too forward. A wrong way to do it would be to just out rightly say I run a hairdressing salon when the last statement in the discussion has no link with it. You might put people off like that.
In summary, never shut up or keep quiet about your business. If you do, it’s just a matter of time; you’ll eventually shut down the business. So TALK.