Most of us work in an office, whether it is an open office space with flexi desks or an office which has separate and closed offices. Some of us may only have a handful of co-workers and others may have hundreds. If you ask yourself how many people you actually know quite well in your office and “quite well” meaning you know more about them than just their name; I wonder what the count will be.
Do you speak to people when you meet them in the pantry whilst getting your morning coffee? Do you keep silent when you take your print outs from the printer in the common area? Do you ever have lunch with anyone who is not in your team but who sits in a different department? I am quite sure most of us will answer no to these questions. Look, I am not suggesting that you have to be friends with everyone, but the point I would like to make here is to make you aware of a principle called “internal marketing”. What does that mean? Well, it means making sure that everyone – or at leat the most relevant people – know who you are and what you do and more importantly that they know where to find you in case they have referral work.
When speaking to fee earners about key clients and prospects (target clients) the internal clients i.e. co-workers are hardly ever on the list. This is wrong. Your colleagues are important and could be a very good source of potential work. Work that they may get from clients that they cannot do because it is not their area of expertise or because they are at capacity, they may as well refer this work to you. But before they do that, they need to trust you and in order to trust you they need to know you. You will have to build rapport with them and ways to do that is to greet them when you get your coffee, speak to them when you see them waiting for their print outs, meet them for a cup of coffee or sit next to them in the lunch room. Don’t be shy and work on your internal marketing skills. It is the easiest way to get more business, it is the low hanging fruit and you don’t even have to go anywhere. Need I say more?
I know it is tempting to sit at your desk 12 hours straight and keep busy with your work, but pop your head over the cubicle walls every now and again, knock on people’s doors to introduce yourself, find an excuse to speak to people, ask questions or simply say: hello.