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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Missing Ingredient in Networking Marketing, Part 3

by Al Hanzal

Who Does Your Business Serve?

The primary teaching task is to clarify who you want network partners to refer to your business. This is the “who” of your teaching task.

It is not the job of your networking partners to make your sales presentation. It is their role to refer based on who you want to serve in your business. If you are vague about your customer descriptions how can they be helpful to you?

If the real estate broker asks “Help me find anyone who is looking for a new home.” Should you refer to them the homeless person you see standing on the street corner with the sign, “Homeless”? This would be

silly. But if they don’t give you a better description than, “Anyone who needs a home”, how will you know what customers to refer to them?

If you tell your networking partners you serve small business owners, some may think of businesses with ten employees. Others may think of businesses with no employees. The government’s description of small business is any business with less than 277 employees. Saying you serve small business does little to clarify who you serve with your business.

Your networking partners need a profile of your perfect customers. This will involve basic demographics of gender, age, location and economic status of your perfect customers. You can easily create a client picture using these qualities.

More importantly are the psychographic characteristics of your perfect customer. What events in their lives trigger the use of your business solutions? What are their buying habits? What motivates them to make a purchase? What worries them the most in their lives? What problems do they want solved? What aspirations do they have? Where do you find these perfect customers?

When you combine the demographics and the psychographics of your perfect customer, you have a picture of the person who is your best customer. When you consistently place this picture before yourself and your network partners, you attract these perfect customers to your business.

What Problems Does Your Business Solve?

Your referring partners need to know what customer problems you solve with your business. Even more importantly they need to know the symptoms of those problems.

There are always a few people who know exactly what they want to solve their problems. They just need more information to get the problem solved. Do you know the name of a heart surgeon? Yes I do!

The majority of the people who are potential referrals can talk about the symptoms of the problem but they are not sure where to go or what products or services can solve the problem.

We have all been there when we visited a doctor’s office. We tell the doctor our symptoms. We have a running nose, a high fever, lost of appetite, sore throat, glassy eyes, etc. From those symptoms, the doctor identifies the problem and potential solutions.

If you want your networking partners to make effective referrals to your business, you must teach them the symptoms of the problems your products solve. They must be able to know and recognize the symptoms. When they encounter them, they can now recommend you as a potential solution. Without knowledge of the symptoms, they will overlook potentially good referrals to your business.

How Do You Want Network Partners to Connect You With Their Referrals?

With this third ingredient of your teaching, you must spell out to your network partners how you want them to connect with their referrals. Their job is to make a connection for you, not to deliver your sales presentation.

You say, “That’s easy.” I tell my network partners, “Give me good referrals!” What is a “good” referral for you? Here are just a few of the ways network partners can make the connection for you:

I want a friendly introduction to a prospect who…

I want the name of a specific person who…

I want you to share one of my success stories with …

I want you to plant a seed about my business…

I want an appointment with

I want to tell the other person about the options my business provides

I want to you to speak about my credibility with…

I want you to tell others how I can be a resource to them

I want you to give them a copy of the free report I offer

The list could go on. How do you want your network partners to connect for you? If you are not clear, how can they be clear with their friends and relatives?

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