My town is not that big. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances that own small businesses and I try to support them as much as possible. So, when the Executive Director of a small non-profit asked me to be a judge for a kids Halloween Walk they were having, I said sure. I figured I had no plans for what turned out to be a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Annapolis.
Now I know my invite did not include a sponsorship… but that did not stop me from wearing a logo’d shirt! I was introduced as a “guest judge” and he mentioned my agency. About 300 kids paraded in front of me, and a representative from the local business association and myself somehow needed to pick the best ones. It was a tough job, but someone needed to do it. And we did. The Halloween Walk was a success and most everyone went away happy.
When I got home, I started to check my email and found an inquiry from a prospect. It was someone that had heard my name at the walk and he made the decision to contact me! I was thrilled. This is a great lead for me considering I did not give him any contact information and my company does exactly what the name implies—single parent travel.
To contact me, he had to take the time to find my company, find my contact information, and then send an inquiry. He showed the initiative!
And what was that inquiry? He leads a support group for divorced parents and they have decided to implement a social program into it as well—bowling, community events, and… wait for it… travel.
I can’t say that it resulted in a booking just yet; but I now have a pretty solid group prospect and entrée into a group of 25 potential clients.
Some people would have denied the request to be a judge because it was not enough exposure or they felt it was a waste of time. I know when I evaluate shows and “appearances” I try to figure out if it is worth my time and/or money. And had I done that this time, I likely would have declined. After all, I missed a NFL game on television, and what am I going to get out of a bunch of kids all strung out on chocolate wearing funny outfits?
I’ll tell you what I am going to get out of it: I have a meeting and presentation in front of the group on Tuesday evening.
You never know where your next client will come from. I have always known this, but this time I learned something new — a corollary if you will. Sometimes the events that make the least sense end up being the best for business. Do not overlook the small and mundane.
I need two rooms painted in my house (I like to paint, I am horrible at it) so I called a local firm for an estimate. I explained that it was a small job and his answer was “small jobs lead to big ones if we do it right.” Enough said!