If it takes 100 conversations with prospects who DON’T know you to get 10 meetings, and 15 conversations with referred prospects to get 10 MORE meetings, which way would you rather spend your time?
I wrote an article based on this story problem about building an alliance network where the people around you help propel you forward — they are additional “salespeople” in the field.
To do this it is not easy, but it is simple. You start thinking about others more than you and put together a “team” of people who you like, and who compliment your offerings (they don’t do what you do). Once you talk with them about the opportunity to refer and help each others’ businesses grow – you put them in your sales pipeline just like your prospective customers. Denote that they are alliance partners, and contact them on a regular basis. Monthly works well…. and when you see an article about something they might be interested in, you mail it to them (or email a copy). Once a quarter you could send a newsletter, or some sort of holiday card.
The bottom line is that you keep in touch, and let them know periodically about the new services you are offering, the new referrals you have, and other things to let them know you are building business or really gaining momentum.
There is no reason for small business owners and entrepreneurs to go it alone. Over the weekend, think of ten potential “alliance partners” you can start with – if they are local, you could become a hub and set up a monthly coffee or lunch. Start with ten, and then go to twenty. Post your results as comments, or if you have already had success doing this, please post that as well – it will inspire others.