By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
I've said a zillion times that most marketing is random.
Most professionals don't have a step-by-step system for attracting clients, despite the fact that this is the only approach that works.
But an organized system can be very free-form in the way you connect with initial prospects. There are probably hundreds of ways to do this.
The name I've given this is "Stream of Business Marketing."
The relates to every connection you make in the stream of everyday business. You might meet someone at a networking event or connect with a couple sitting beside you at a restaurant. You may be having a conversation with an existing client, or you might get a message by email or through Facebook.
The thing all of these stream of business connections have is that every one of them have the potential to be a new client (or a new service to an existing client). The thing is, we don't take advantage of those connections. We might talk, exchange cards or emails, but most don't take the proactive step to move things forward.
In two conversations last week, with members of my Marketing Mastery Program, they told me perfect stream of business stories.
The first one happened when G.G. was at the doctor's office and stuck up a conversation with a fellow patient in the waiting room. One thing led to another and she followed up with the patient, ultimately got a meeting and turned that meeting into a new paying client.
The other one was similar. J.K. met someone at the business center of a hotel and asked him if he was attending the same conference as my client was. The answer was yes, and the conversation continued with learning more about each other. In a few minutes my client had a business card and an appointment the following week.
What's important to note is that both connections were tied together by affiliations. Fellow patients and conference attendees had something in common and struck up conversations that led to new business.
But even more importantly, both of my clients leveraged a random stream of business connection into something more because their "organized marketing system" kicked into action.
Here are the steps:
1. Strike up a conversation and spend more time listening than talking. When you find things in common, the conversation is engaging and you build trust.
2. Ask what they do before they ask you what you do. Be interested, not interesting. Find out about their business. And hold yourself back from talking about your business.
3. When they ask about your business, use a good Audio Logo with "a hook." For instance, "I work with big companies who are missing One Big Thing that's preventing them them from succeeding at an even higher level." The hook almost forces someone to ask what that one big thing is.
4. If they show some interest, continue the conversation, still avoiding talking too much about your services. If you do talk, the best thing is to tell a success story or two: "A recent client started to apply that one big thing and went from no profit to 20% profit in less than a year."
5. Now the big key: Don't just exchange cards and hope something will happen. No! Set it up so that you can follow up later. And the best way to do that is by offering an article: "I wrote an article about this called, 'The One Big Mistake Companies Make and Seven Ways They Can Correct It.' Can I send you a copy?"
6. Then follow up a few days later: "Hey, this is Robert, I sent you that article on the One Big Mistake. I wondered if there were some things in that article that you could relate to your business?" Then continue the conversation to see if this person is a qualified prospect or not. Then, finally...
7. Offer them a "Complimentary Big Thing Strategy Session" where you'll explore their current situation, their goals and vision and the challenges they are currently facing. And of course, you'll also let them know about your services that help companies with that One Big Thing.
The More Clients Bottom Line: Turn random connections into meetings with qualified prospects by following this step-by-step strategy. To make this work, you need to be prepared with listening skills, an Audio Logo, an article, a call-to-action and a Strategy Session.
What do you do (or fail to do) when you meet a prospective client in your everyday stream of business? Let us know on the More Clients Blog by clicking on the link below.