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Winter Time is Meeting Time: Find Next Years's Clients Where They Congregate!

Aug 17, 2007
For those of you who are serious about maximizing your effectiveness as an advisor to business owners (more money, client confidence, and enhanced self-image), here is everything you need to know.

Ok, so first you have to know who (what sort of person, in what industry, with which problems or challenges) you are uniquely equipt to serve. Second you must be able to articulate the bankable benefits you offer. And third, you have got to put yourself where they are most likely to be and where they will be talking to one another about the how much they need the help of someone who knows what you know, if only they could find them.

This is not as daunting a task as it might sound.

Over the years, quite by accident I created what I call an "all roads lead home" marketing strategy, where each client leads me to the next and the next and the next.

It was not a complicated process or I couldn't have done it. It will work for you as well, if you are willing to do the work.

It did not require extensive marketing knowledge because I did not have any. The good news is that marketing knowledge is not necessary - just common sense. Too much marketing knowledge, too many strategies will only waste your time and cause you to over-think the process.

And it did not rely on my natural contacts - because I had none. Everybody I knew was like me, no money and no power to influence others who were in decision making roles.

After a quarter of a century - from my experience, it is just as valid as it probably was before any of us were born. Becoming a successful professional (coach, consultant, real estate professional, financial planner, etc.), anyone who must market sell and deliver their products and services - it's still about.

Getting read - not just on YOUR web site but in the publications of credible, reliable, targeted 3rd parties. Your prospects aren't stupid. They know that the articles on your web site did not have to pass any sort of reality check. Anything we write and publish about ourselves is taken with a grain of salt, if it is taken at all.

On the other hand our prospects and clients assume that their trade association publications work night and day to come up with the most credible sources. That's why they read them cover to cover. They don't know that it was actually because your article arrived on the editor's desk 30 minutes before the deadline and the one they intended to run got coffee spilled on it in the mailroom. Isn't it true that it's often much better to be lucky than good. Create your own luck!

Being seen where your prospects already are. Don't try to get them to come meet you when (unless they are idiots or have too much time or their hands) they know that the only reason you invited them is to sell them something.

Go to the library and do a little research with the Gales Encyclopedia of Associations directory. Make a list of those that seem relevant and see when and where their annual meetings are being held. You may find that you have people to see in those cities as well, so you can connect with them while you're there.

If this is your first time and you have no standing with the organization - see what you can learn from their web site. See who some of the members are. Look for any possible hooks. Then connect with the person at the association who is running the event. Tell them you are coming and see about getting admission to the exhibits. They will be glad you asked. Exhibitors paid for the privilege of setting up booths to display their wares. The organizer wants to get as many people in front of those booths as possible.

The exhibit hall is where I have met more people who became clients than anyplace else. BTW the exhibitors are potential prospects as well. Maybe they will even put you in front of the very people you are there to see - the attendees.

And getting heard - in person, at the front of the room for example. Let's say you have a well honed message, one you can deliver in 15, 35, 45, and 90 minute presentations. When you connect with the association executive at the event, before the doors open if possible - tell them that, in the off chance that a scheduled speaker is a no show, you would be happy to go on in their place.

Again, you have to make your own luck. If all you expected was to meet the organizer, spend a few hours in the exhibit hall, and maybe, just maybe introduce yourself to a potential prospect in the coffee shop - and instead ended up giving a 30 minute presentation in front of 900 business owners. Well it could quite literally change your life.

These three things are what we focus our attention on.I know my market (I ought to after all these years) and they know me - so they publish my articles. I always show up at their annual meetings, and have filled in a few times as a speaker. However, most of my time in spent in the exhibit halls.

People have come to see me as "part of the organization" which provides the credibility I need to keep the market to myself. I am the competition. I own my niche, but it took years.

My question for you is what are you going to do? Remember the old saying, "The best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago and that the next best time is today?"

The future is the time you'll either wish you had done what you're not doing now or the time when you will remember the day you began planting those seeds.

Trade associations are the most fertile ground there is.
About the Author
Wayne Messick has compiled the strategies required for success as a business coach. If you are an advisor to small business owners and want to maximize your Internet marketing potential like we have, here is a step by step outline of how we are using the web to generate seventy-five percent of our new business .
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