I suspect most FileMaker developers tend towards the ‘nerd’ side of the personality charts (I certainly do).
As a result, they aren’t into marketing, sales, business relationship building, and similar activities. The business side of FileMaker development. And it’s not because they aren’t capable of doing those things. They can put forth the effort and do a passable job. They’re just not comfortable doing so. It’s not in their wheelhouse.
There is much to be gained, though, by developing those skills. Think of it as a programming challenge. Or a life challenge. Or as a game. Or whatever motivates you to improve yourself. Because there’s a good chance you’ll need these skills to move up in the business world.
So what do I do about this?
When you are building a business relationship, you are selling something–usually yourself. And you should be on the lookout for ways to add value to the final product (that’s you!).
This slideshow shows one way to add value to routine emails in the sales process. The “Just Checking In” emails. It takes a little longer to do, but adds value because it’s relevant to the person on the other end.
For example, if you are building a Customer Relations Management (CRM) system for a client, a link to an article about an effective way to use CRM software would be useful to your client. There are plenty of ways to find such articles (google) and it doesn’t take long to do so. And your client will appreciate, most of the time, the work you put in to make their life a bit easier.
Check out this slideshow for more details, and try this out the next time you send an email to a client.