We all know that relationships will make or break your business. The definiteness of this fact has birthed an uncomfortable swell of networking groups. This begs the question, why doesn’t networking work? And if it works, why should I subscribe to 50 different networking groups?
Chances are, if networking has failed to yield strong relationships for you yet, increasing the quantity of gatherings you attend won’t get you any, either. I’m not saying ‘stop networking.’ Just start doing it right.
How do you know if you’re networking right?
- You leave your sales pitch at home
- You’re asking questions and offering your help
- You ask for their business card, and
- Only giving yours if they ask for it
Good networking means making a connection. That alone won’t do any good. The next and most critical step to growing relationships is filtering out the vapid connections from the fruitful ones.
This article will help you to do that. If you’re having problems attracting business, or if you haven’t a clue as to how to keep the clients you have, keep reading. You will leave with an actionable technique to stand out with prospects and clients, and ultimately transform your business.
In order build those kind of relationships, you need to know the 3 things that they are made of.
Three parts to relationships are V – C – P
Visibility means knowing who you are and what you do. It’s the ‘connecting with other people’ that makes you visible. We just talked about it; and it’s just not enough.
When you walk into an office once and hand out a card, you have become visible. But by no means, just by walking in there once, is that company likely to hop on board and buy something. In other words, they are not profitable yet. They’re not profitable yet because you haven’t built up any credibility, any trust.
So how do you build up that credibility? How do you build trust?
- You have to meet with them several times
- Get to know them and their business
- Meet until you know if they are a profitable client for you, meaning in your target market
Once you know that they are a viable client, you need to “touch” them every six weeks to remind them that you are here and that you care.
And that’s where most businesses drop the ball. Luckily for us, I asked my friend, a networking beast, if he could offer and valuable advice. Dan Garzella is president of Multifamily Risk Advisors, a commercial insurance firm in Scottsdale, Arizona.
He broke through as an entrepreneur after waiting tables for two years as a poor college graduate, and built three profitable companies in just over a decade. He not only touches his prospects and clients, he ingrains his brand in their memory with really good popcorn.
We increase sales and visibility by embedding our brand in the memory of our most profitable prospects with something called a ‘memory hook’.
“A memory hook is like the hook in a song. It’s the lyrics that everyone repeats. They work the same in business. It’s the slogan that comes to mind when you hear the word “insurance,” or when you need your carpet cleaned. And it works the same way as if you were marketing to a client.
… as soon as something happens and they need our service, we are the only company that they can think about.
“My Popcorn Kitchen popcorn is great way to create a memory hook. It’s the uniqueness and the quality of the product that create the memorable experience for the potential client that will have them reach out to you. It works. It works extremely well.”
How it works:
“Every six weeks they get a shipment of popcorn-that’s not your normal popcorn, it’s Buffalo Cheddar, Scottsdale Blend, Vanilla and Raspberry-it’s creating a memory hook for that client. Every time that shipment comes, the first thing they think about is, oh it’s that popcorn, oh it’s from Multifamily Risk Advisors.
And then everything you do follows that.
When something happens down the road and they need something with insurance, the first thing that triggers in their memory is the popcorn that we keep sending them every six weeks! Then we get a phone call. From the time that you get that phone call, it’s on your business to be able to prove itself.
As soon we send that out we get thank-you’s, we often get deals. And it’s not as hard to talk to them the next time because they remember you. So when you follow up with them to schedule a secondary meeting, they are more open to it. If a few shipments go by and nothing comes of it, then you just take that person off the list and add someone else.”
- Make a contact
- Get to know the and their business
- Find out if they’re a profitable client
- If profitable, find out how many people are in their office
- Add them to the “popcorn” list
- My Popcorn Kitchen brands packages with logo and includes your deliverables in a great display (branded sticky notes, notepads, marketing pieces, etc.)
If you fill out their online contact form, or call My Popcorn Kitchen, they will ask you for everything they need to get your popcorn made, branded, and shipped. They work the flavors and bag sizes with your budget. It’s surprisingly low cost, especially considering the return on investment it provides for entrepreneurs like Garzella.
Building relationships plays a major role in your business’ success, and you’ve just learned a simple plan that works – from the mouth of an entrepreneur who excels at it.
For more on this interview and full Q&A, read How to Use Popcorn Autoship To Stand Out In Business, on My Popcorn Kitchen’s business blog.
How do you “touch” clients and prospects? Share your touch technique, below. I love hearing and sharing business success stories, and we all appreciate them.