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The Most Powerful Sales and Marketing Strategy Ever!

Aug 17, 2007
As co-founder of Family Business Strategies, a consortium of professionals serving family businesses, their coaches and advisors, I have spent my entire career researching family-owned businesses, helping them develop their company's future.

Accidentally I hit upon a process that I've used for over a dozen years that has resulted in virtually all of our most profitable clients.

Like every professional I was constantly looking for the best way to connect with my ideal client types.

It had to be cost effective, no ads in the Wall Street Journal, and it had to be effective by getting me in front of the right people several at a time.

Accidents happen, sometimes resulting in a good thing. I ran into a group of business owners at a hotel coffee shop.

I had just given a short workshop at their association meeting, so I knew some of them from a few minutes before.

We sat around the table for a while, continuing the previous discussion and building upon it for the benefit of the folks who had not been in the earlier meeting.

As it became clear that I had to leave for the airport one of them suggested that we keep this strategic conversation going via some conference calls. So, for the next several months we did just that, for an hour or so a couple of times a month.

Accidentally I had figured out how to showcase my ability to my ideal audience. Over time they became more comfortable with me, knew I was sincerely interested in them because my observations made sense and they became more confident in my knowledge and ability to help them.

I had been given the time for the know, like, trust, and respect formula to develop.

Over the next several years each of these business owners became our clients and directed countless fees our way - by referring people to us based on their prestige and credibility.

After the third or forth call I took the crucial next step, without which this valuable opportunity would have been reduced to a single event, I called a couple of existing clients.

I asked them if they'd like it if we created a peer group, to put together a board of advocates and help for them and their business. I said that we could meet over the phone so there'd be no travel time, I would help them figure out who to invite and be with them to explain the process when we invited them.

Knowing me the way they do their first question was, how much will this cost - and I said I would be doing it as a volunteer at no charge. I told them that I wanted to learn how to be a better meeting facilitator so I was willing to volunteer my time.

I did not realize it at the time but this was an important element. Since I was not charging and since I was 'just learning' their expectations were easy to meet and it answered the 'what's in it for Wayne' question that was in their minds.

After these next two groups got going I repeated the process again and again. Always for free, a limited number of groups each year - creates scarcity. And if every group is populated with ideal prospects, there has always been more than enough follow on business and referrals to make this the single most profitable thing I do.

If you have a single client that you consider an ideal client type person, that's all you need to get started. In fact if you have someone who is not your client but who knows, likes, trusts and respects you - that will work too.

(Do not create any groups where the people are not all your ideal client types. It will waste your time and theirs and you will take yourself in the wrong direction)

With your ideal client groups you will be modeling your best self in front of people who will either buy your services or refer you to others who will!

The only remaining question is whether you can do the volunteer facilitating or not.

My guess is you'll do fine. They know you're learning so they'll help. They don't know the "right way" to do it anyway and you're not charging for it.

If they sense your commitment to them and to the process, if you are genuinely trying to help they'll be convinced that you are worthy of their trust and respect.

Remember, people don't care how much you know until the know how much you care - about them.
About the Author
Wayne Messick, co-founder of www.iBizResources.com shows you how to create and manage a twenty first century peer group to leverage your relationship with your prospects and clients for greater profitability at the process he's been using successfully for over a decade to build his client list, grow his database of prospects, and dominate his niche.
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