I have noticed lately, I am writing more and more about social networking. While it is interesting, it is not the only type of marketing I recommend to my clients. Face to Face networking is an important element in the Small Business Marketing Mix. And if done right, it will free you from tedious cold calls. Case in point:
A few years ago, I met with a friend who had had a new job as a salesman. In the course of the conversation, he told me his new boss wanted him to make 100 cold calls a week. His boss believed if made the 100 calls he would be have about twenty viable conversations, set five appointments and make one sale. He asked me if this sounded reasonable. And I didn’t know what to tell him. I doubt I have made that many cold calls in my entire career!
After years of actively networking in the local community, my business is referral driven. When I need to increase my sales volume, I make calls, but not cold calls. I make warm calls to my Power Team.
My Power Team consists of other business professionals who offer complementary services to my target customers. I schedule one-on-one conversations over coffee and lunch. As we talk about projects and customers, opportunities arise: without directly soliciting a referral directly, things happen!
How do you build your own Power Team?
Start with your customer. Regardless of whether your product or service is for an individual or a business, your target customer has needs beyond what you can provide. Think about other products and services your customers could or would purchase on a regular basis. For example if you are an electrician, then a plumber, roofer, or landscape company would be a potential Power Team members.
As you attend networking events, be on the look out for great Power Team members. While customers are always nice, a great Power Team member will create more opportunities for you in the long run!
It takes time to build an effective partnership, one which brings value to both companies. Don’t rush the process. The closer you work with this strategic partner, the more your image and theirs become entwined together in the mind of potential clients. Carefully evaluate potential partners; selecting companies which will they treat your clients the way you do. Build relationships with companies you will be proud to send your best customer to.
Cold calls are a thing of the past. Have Roundpeg show you how to network