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You may wonder sometimes, as you meet people at different networking events, what it will take to convert them into a paying customer. Its worth remembering that everyone you meet has the potential to become a customer, but the truth is you have no control over when a person you have met makes the decision to become one of your clients.

Let me tell you story about a client of mine. He has had a successful business for several years now, and has a strong an loyal client base, but in order to grow, he needs to keep attracting new clients, and in these tough economic times, it can be hard.

A few weeks ago his wife met someone in the supermarket she had not seen since their children were at crèche together, twelve years earlier. After chatting about the kids, conversation turned to a problem this lady had with her computer system. Was that something John could fix? Could she have John’s number? As they parted the lady said she would ring, and John’s wife went home and mentioned it over dinner.

Two weeks later, the lady rang to make the appointment, and her problem was fixed within 24 hours. A fast fix for the problem, but a 12 year lead time from prospect to client!

It is exactly because you as a businessperson have no control over when that prospect will decide to chose to buy your product or service that you need to treat everyone you meet as a potential client. Don’t try to sell to everyone you meet, but take the time to listen to them and find out what their problem is.

Maybe you and your business can fix their problem. If not you may be able to recommend someone who can. Do that, and you will become memorable. (but I hope your conversion rate is shorter than 12 years!)