One of my favorite exercises is to make an appointment with people who I don’t know but are in a position to help me grow my business, and then show them how I can help grow their businesses at no cost.
The hardest part of getting an appointment is to ask for one. Yes, you need to have a non-threatening opening remark and that will come with practice; perseverance is the secret. I have, as most people do, a contact list of people who know me; not only clients, but friends and advisors. If I don’t want to make a “cold call” today, I call one of my contacts and ask if they know someone in a certain type of business (my target market). It doesn’t take a lot of calls to get the name and an introduction to someone.
Let me share a recent example: a CPA wanted to grow his business. His current practice is geared towards small business owners. That also happens to be one of my target markets. In our meeting I suggested that he offer his clients an extra benefit by having a bimonthly business training session at no cost to his clients and their guests. Our first session was entitled “developing a small business marketing plan”. His conference room could sit ten people. An e-mail invitation was sent to his client list with an invitation to attend for the first ten who responded. Only five clients came to the first session. I was the “outside expert” invited to make the presentation. We went from 5pm to 6:30 and served soft drinks, water and light snacks. The second session was filled and the next three months are filled. Several of his clients invited other business friends which we hope will become clients of the sponsoring CPA as well as I. I provide the speakers for the educational sessions.
If you are in a service industry there are many different ways to provide a benefit to another company that services your target market. By having someone else gather your target market and introduce you as an expert, you not only gain instant credibility but you also have exposure to new potential clients.
When I participate in this type of marketing opportunity, I don’t sell my service but I do have literature to pass out after my presentation. I also have a card that can be filled out by the participants giving them the opportunity to subscribe to my free value based newsletter.
This is an inexpensive marketing tool and can provide countless opportunities to help others as well as yourself. Make it a point, today, to select three or four names and set up appointments to help them grow their businesses.
If you believe in an idea, make it happen today; items that are postponed seldom come to fruition.
Nick J. Petra CFP Subscribing to www.onebizcentral.com is one idea to believe in….