By Caroline Creedon
Access Contact Database
A big part of my business coaching process revolves around referrals and accessing your well-nurtured database of contacts at various points throughout your regular operations. Another huge aspect of being successful in business is building alliances.
But here’s something we should always be thinking about too: Who else is in the marketplace that we could be connecting with to help build our business? There are a couple of places we can start to help narrow this down:
- Who else is working with clients that we’d also like to be working with?
- Who has access (direct or indirectly) to our ideal clients?
When we think about our marketing plans for our business, we typically start looking for new leads anywhere and everywhere we think we can find them. But the most effective way to really earn those leads – and not just any leads, but the right leads – is to tailor our strategy to hone in on niche areas of potential clients we really want to work with.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Stop screaming your message from the mountaintops. Whisper it into the right ears, and you’ll have far more success.
Let’s break it down a bit further. Let’s say you’re in the construction supply industry. Maybe you sell hard hats. Well, when people come to you, they’ve more than likely been shopping around for other things too, not just hard hats. They probably bought some hi-vis gear, work boots, and maybe some tools and equipment also. The point is before they came to you to buy their hard hats, they were probably with something else buying some other thing, and they’ll be moving on to the next business shortly after you.
Heads up, don’t get bogged down by the product aspect. If you’re in a services industry, think of all the other services someone might be seeking out on either side of your own. Selling a spa day? Maybe your ideal client just bought a yoga class pass and is about to go invest in some equipment.
If we know this sort of continuum exists where clients have a “before” us and an “after” us, we can tap into new opportunities by identifying exactly what the “before” and “after” of your specific client continuum looks like.
Take a few minutes (if you can spare them) and brainstorm as many possible before and after scenarios that your ideal client might find themselves in, outside of interacting with you and your business. Who else is involved in your client continuum?
This list will probably be ever-evolving, so keep it in the back of your mind (or the front) as we start to prepare you for the next step.
It’s time to start collaborating with other businesses who are already connected to your ideal clients. To do this, we need to map our two simple steps:
- How are you going to approach these businesses?
- What’s the offer you’re going to make?
These of course will vary depending on your industry and niche market. For tips on how to take the next step into unlocking new business opportunities through new industry contacts, keep an eye out for the next article!
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