Traditional forms of promotion (such as advertising, entries in directories, cold calling, direct mail and so on) can generate leads, but they are not the most efficient or cost-effective ways of doing so. Indeed, some approaches, such as cold calling and direct mail, are actually very good at irritating and antagonising your potential customers!
On the other hand, the widely held belief that ‘people buy from people’ would appear to indicate a different approach would be more useful. And so it proves to be.
The strongest route to having someone buy your services or products is if someone they trust recommends you.
For example, we were employed by one client to deliver a training programme. When we asked the training manager how many companies they had approached before selecting us, he said ‘none’. ‘How come?’, we asked. ‘Because Jane recommended you.’
Now, Jane, by virtue of her job, must be impartial, so we very much doubt she said anything more than ‘talk to emotional intelligence at work’. But her standing in the eyes of the training manager was so great she only had to mention our name for it to be perceived as a recommendation.
So, how come? We met Jane at a networking event—probably bumped into her several times. But the important work was done when we had a one to one where we could learn more about what she did, and she could learn more about us.
She was sufficiently interested that we had a second one to one. And then a third. By the end of these meetings, Jane had a very good idea of what we did. And she could be confident that, when the training manager expressed his requirements, she could suggest us.
Note, however, that she didn’t need to analyse the manager’s needs, nor give a detailed presentation about our services. She simply had to say ‘talk to emotional intelligence at work’.
> Take a different approach to networking
© 2013 Jeremy Marchant Limited . by Jeremy Marchant . uploaded 4 march 2013 . image: Jeremy Marchant