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7 Tips for Marketing Your Business to Friends and Family

If you’re looking for new contacts to raise old profit levels, the following seven tips can help you keep friends and strategize contacts.

Beefing up your Contacts File with your Christmas Card list? Selling product at your child’s birthday bash? Blurring the line between your business and your social life can result in lost friends, as well as lost sales. If you’re looking for new contacts to raise old profit levels, the following seven tips can help you keep friends and strategize contacts.

1. Don’t let your party invitations receive more rolled eyes than they do RSVPs.

Practice throwing your dinner parties and birthday bashes without so much as mentioning the latest great product in your sales lineup. If the idea gives you the jitters, you can have your business card handy just in case fellow partiers ask about business, but keep the business conversation short and sweet, and return to the festivities.

2. Avoid going to the Little Black Book – or Christmas List – for cold calls.

If you have successes and new directions that you'd like to share with friends and business associates, announce your good news with a general newsletter. Save the cold calls for other warm bodies, such as those you meet at business luncheons, city functions, and local business meetings.

3. Steer clear of becoming the resident (i.e. free) expert.

When a neighbor saunters over with a question that your business could obviously fix, generously suggest that you could slip in an early appointment if they’d like an estimate from you. By setting early boundaries on neighborly expectations, you will avoid the heartache of having to back out of painful (and possibly expensive) situations later on.

4. Suppress your natural generosity: don’t give “friendly” discounts to friends.

Instead, give quality, paid, work that your friends are likely to brag about. Give them “insider” ways to save money. Steer them to others in your industry who will also bring them good, reliable service. Not only will you secure more future business from them – they are likely to point friends in your direction as well.

5. Discourage the idea that you think of nothing but your business.

Talk up your other hobbies and interests at social events – even if it means talking politics. At least friends and family will know what else to talk about when you’re around.

6. Refrain from the idea that you “owe” anyone for a good favor.

When friends refer to you a profitable contact, write them a timely and sincere thank you letter, diffusing anyone’s idea of a need for a “payback” in the form of discounted goods, etc.

7. When your business has a particular success or joy to share – especially if it’s a family business – throw a “business warming” party for those closest to you.

This is an opportunity to share with them the joy and passion of your home business and your success without crossing the line between work and friendship. And keep those business cards front and center this time.

Categories: Home Entrepreneurs