Who do you know who...?
Upon graduating from university I decided my future was going to be in marketing - e-marketing specifically. There were aspects of this choice that I found very positive. But, the aspect that was missing for me was the day to day interaction with people and more specifically clients.
So, I decided that I would take a closer look at business development.
My first dive into the sales world was an entrepreneurial pursuit in the direct sales arena. The training that these companies offer their independent agents is second to none (this is a general comment and I suggest if you are looking at direct sales that you explore the companies training programs before committing). I specifically love the “guerilla” marketing techniques and tactics that are taught. Being open to the techniques and tactics brought me a long way from the shell I formed around me early in life.
One of the tactics to help grow your network of contacts that I still employ to this day even in a far more complex selling environment is the “Who do you know who...?” technique to gaining referrals.
It goes something like this....
- If you are a real estate agent, ask someone who you have built up a relationship with; “who do you know who is thinking about selling their house and is interested in obtaining the best possible price for it?”
- If you own a health food store, ask a customer; “who do you know that is making some positive health changes and is looking for advice on what to eat?”
- If you are a chiropractor, ask your neighbour; “who do you know who has a bad back and would like to feel 100%?”
- If you are an accountant, ask your doubles tennis partner; “who do you know that owns a business and would like to get the best reporting advice to make the most of their cash flow?”
- If you are an IT consultant, ask your present client; "who do you know that manages or owns a business that can benefit from a higher level of reporting to help them make strong business decisions?"
I think you will agree that this is a very simple approach to building a network and gaining referrals that pretty well anyone can employ... even a person like me who struggled initially with approaching prospective clients directly. It breaks down all the barriers. The person you are asking does not feel like they are being sold and most people are there to help you.
Personally I have found that many times when I ask people a question such as this they often put up their hands and say “ME” and I think to myself ‘well, isn’t that just perfect’.
So, if you are new to sales or sales is old hat to you but you want to keep things rolling, I suggest you give the ‘Who do you know?” technique a shot.
Let me know your opinion on this below. I hope it helps you in your efforts to grow your business.