Do you own your home city?
What do I mean? Let’s say you’re a business. Wherever you’re based, somewhere you are a local business. You might be in Baltimore, Cedar Rapids, Topeka, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, Tokyo, Stockholm, or London. Somewhere, you’re local. Do you own that market?
If you’re jetting all over the country/world to speak at different conferences, you might want to take a few minutes to check out your own backyard as well. You’d be surprised at what’s available. What shows are at your local convention center? Most major venues even in small cities have a visitor’s bureau that knows what’s happening in town. Are you taking advantages of all those events for exhibiting, sponsoring, and speaking? They’d sure cut down on the wear and tear you subject yourself to on airplanes and hotels, wouldn’t it? (not to mention your wallet)
How about your customer base? Have you dominated your home city? If not, why not? Unlike your national and global competitors, your prospects are literally a walk, bus, or car ride away. You have the local, home-team advantage when you can show up in person to call on someone rather than rely on a webinar or email. If you’re lucky enough to have branches in multiple cities, do you own those cities? Are the people in those cities out and about visiting customers and prospects, since you don’t need to subject your staff to the TSA just to say hello?
We overlook the home-team, home-turf advantage precisely because it’s our backyard. We take it for granted. We don’t even see it, walking by the storefronts and offices every day on our shuffle to our own offices. We overlook the power of leaving the office for a few hours because it’s too convenient. “I’ll get around to it, it’s not far away” kills more local business opportunities than you think.
How many pots of gold are there in your home city that you haven’t found yet?
Try this. Go into your LinkedIn network right now and just browse – without any specific focus in mind for prospects or customers – your local geographic area. See what’s in there right now. Go to Twitter search, select Advanced Search, type in your ZIP code and see who’s tweeting within 5, 10, and 50 miles. Go to Facebook and see who’s in the area, who’s a member of the local geographic network. Reach out to those people. Reach out and say hello.
That’s the first step towards winning the game – recognizing and capitalizing on the home-team advantage.
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