Small and entrepreneurial businesses are the backbone of today’s American economy. They provide direct support to help grow local economies. In today’s challenged business market, it is more important than ever to be armed with the best information possible before a meeting with a business so you understand not just what the company is all about, but how it fits into the local economy.
Business relationships, especially those on the local level, are all about trust. And one important part of gaining trust of a local business is to conduct research on that business prior to a meeting. Show that you care about both the business and their role in the local economy. By doing so, it is much more likely that this new business relationship will be built upon a solid foundation of trust and genuine concern about their success in the local community.
It is important, however, that the research you are conducting provides reliable and factually accurate information. If you go into a meeting with potentially inaccurate information, it will appear as though you weren’t very interested in discovering what the company is all about as well as understand their business methodology. While there are a variety of different options for company research, Corporate Affiliations from LexisNexis is a comprehensive company profile directory that will provide the essential company-related data needed to build a successful business relationship. Corporate Affiliations Data Services uses top-notch software algorithms to match potential clients against its comprehensive business database. Also make sure to research their market as a whole. Look at their competition and see how they position themselves in the market as well as their market share. Begin to think about how to expand their market share and what sets them apart from their competition.
Armed with this information, you will be ready to head to a meeting with a potential new customer and have the opportunity to build a long-term successful business relationship. Make sure to cite the information you discovered about the business as well as the local economy during the meeting so you can work with them to bring their company to the next level. Be sure to ask where they see their business heading and understand their definition of success. Is success increasing sales? Expanding their staff? Opening a second location? Depending on the type of business, this answer can vary widely. Also ask how they see their company as part of the community and if they would like to see that role expanded.
By being prepared, you can not only potentially gain a new client, but help both a business and local economy succeed.