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Measuring the ROI of a meeting

A few weeks ago I met with a local guy that is wanting to build up a business similar to ours, particularly on the WordPress development side of things.  I was happy to talk to him, and I think he’ll be quite successful as he begins to build his business.

I also thought about the meeting in terms of ROI.  I see people all the time trying to measure the ROI of their social efforts, which can be nearly impossible for a small business.  If you’re a huge brand, there is enough data that you can begin to work out the numbers.  For small businesses, one transaction can quickly skew the numbers (see the $100,000/hour receptionist or the $700 tweet).  For an individual meeting it’s even more difficult to calculate, but let’s see what it looks like.

The Loss

On first glance, it probably seemed like a bad move on my part.  Giving away an hour of my time to help someone that will likely become my competition?  Of course, I recently pointed out that I don’t view our competition as the enemy.  In fact, I see it as quite the opposite — we can all learn a lot from each other.  With that out out of the way, what’s the other side?

The Return

There are a lot of great things that could potentially come out of a meeting like that, such as:

  • We’ll be seen as somewhat of an authority in his eyes, and somewhere to turn to if he has a technical problem.
  • He’s likely to attend our monthly Meetup, where we can grow our relationship further.
  • Assuming he finds it useful, he may invite others to future Meetups.
  • He may also encourage others to follow our blog or social sites.
  • If he finds a potential client that has a huge project, he may outsource parts of it to us.

You never know where one relationship might lead.  I met a guy a few years ago and I was going to do some work on his site, but it never panned out. However, he’s since referred us to other people he knows and it’s led to well over $100,000 in business in the past few years.

Whatever business you’re in, get out there and meet others in your industry.  You’ll learn a lot, and you never know what business might bloom from that relationship.

About the Author

Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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