Every business person I talk to these days is looking for more business. NOW! The sense of urgency is palpable. Unfortunately, overnight success stories are far and few between. Sad, but true.
And we all know advertising is no quick fix. Face it: consumers suffer from information overload, numb to a sales pitch from any person or business they are not already connected to. More than ever, people will only do business with people they like and trust.
Not too long ago, when someone needed a new product or service they were limited to asking friends and family about who they knew, or rolling the dice, trying to get lucky in the Yellow Pages. Now we can go to Twitter and ask our network for referrals in real time and perform our own Due Diligence searching Google.
Bottom line: Information is moving faster and faster, but the source is more important than ever. You and I will gravitate toward doing business with people we like and trust. And that’s true whether you are building your business online, in person or over the phone.
The same is also true in reverse. People you never met will contact you to do business if someone they know and trust gave a strong enough recommendation about you. Particularly if that certain someone is in a business related to yours. Say a Florist recommending a Caterer or a Business Coach recommending a Website Specialist or Marketing Guru.
So let’s start building your business by networking strategically with other businesses that can work for the same client as you and will compliment what you are doing without becoming your competition. Let’s start creating your Power Team referral network!
Ideally, the people on your Power Team will act as your “Bragging Buddy,” a networking partner who makes the prospect, in many cases their current client, understand that you are the best possible person they could work with for the particular product or service you represent.
Start With Your Contact Sphere
Your business fits into one of six time tested relationships known as a Contact Sphere, a group of related business categories which traditionally pass business referrals back and forth. Knowing which Contact Sphere you are in, and which business categories your Contact Sphere is missing, makes it easier to find some of the key people you are looking for. People who will help build your networking platform and become top performers on your Power Team.
Where Do You Fit?
The illustration above is limited to only six business categories per Contact Sphere, and is far from perfect… there are gray areas for several businesses that could easily fit into one group or another.
If you are in a profession that is not listed, choose the Contact Sphere that seems most applicable. Rest assured that whichever Contact Sphere you choose will not eliminate the other from your networking efforts. We simply have to start somewhere, so make a choice!
Action Step: Take a note on all the business categories listed in your Contact Sphere. Start thinking about people you already know in these professions, people who are good at what they do and are looking to grow their business.
Next time out, we will “Find Your Keys,” and unlock the hidden relationships and referral opportunities among different Contact Spheres, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter