Last week I met some new members to help them to get the most from their networking and, in particular, from their membership of ebn. One of the things I talk about is helping others to get you business from their contacts. To enable people to do this they need to understand what you do and who would be your best customer. The first part of this I cover in the blog which I mention below, so here I’ll deal with the second part: understanding what your best customer looks like.
We are all busy people, keeping our business working and growing, looking after staff and customers, both existing and potential, planning and implementing marketing, sorting out premises, equipment, insurance… you know what it’s like. Here I’m dealing with marketing. Part of any marketing plan is knowing what your ideal customer looks like, so at ebn we are looking for decision makers. Usually this is a business owner but sometimes it can be an employee with a sphere of influence, think Director in a very large company.
Now, because I am busy working out what my ideal customer looks like I don’t have time to work out what other people’s ideal customer looks like. That is not me being selfish, it’s me being honest. We have to help people to sift through all their contacts, mentally not physically, and find those who, we have said, are ideal customers. How does this work? First and most important: Never ask for anybody or somebody.
Instead, be as specific as you can. So let’s say you are a caterer looking for people who want catering. You do different types of catering so focus on one type of catering at a time, whilst making brief mention of the other types of catering, my blog: https://www.ebn.uk.com/blog/?p=148 explains this in more detail. So let’s say that today the caterer is focussing on the wedding market. They don’t say “Anyone who might need catering”. They say “Do you know anyone who is starting to plan their wedding”. Perhaps narrow that down further by saying “In the Essex area” and because they are fully booked for this year, they may further narrow it down to “and are planning to get married next year”. The caterer might want to have contact with venues who have preferred supplier lists. So they don’t say “Any venues that have preferred supplier lists”. They do the research and find out if a venue has a preferred supplier list, and then say “Do you know the owner of…and name a venue”. This narrows down who they are looking for and enables more people to mentally sift through their contacts and potentially make the introduction.
Help people to help you grow your business.
If you would like more tips on networking go to www.ebn.uk.comanddownload my top 20 tips.