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Build a profitable business- the baby steps part 43



Networking. Ok we admit. This one might not be our strongest skill set. Still, we have encountered too many entrepreneurs who attribute a large part of their success to this factor to be able to neglect it or downplay its role. Clearly, there is money to be made in knowing the right people, knowing many people, or being a person worth knowing. We know entrepreneurs who throw giant parties, events and happenings just to market themselves and let the world know what they are about. When we asked one of those entrepreneurs if he wasn´t scared off by the costs of throwing large parties and happenings he simply shrugged it off and told us that it was money well spent. He figured he was marketing himself as a person and as an entrepreneur. By throwing these lavish parties and hosting great events he was simply promoting his own personal brand. And that brand opened a lot of doors, closed a lot of business and made a ton of money apparently. The icing on the cake was that he had a lot of fun doing it all.

When there is a discussion about network marketing most people think about a lot of different network opportunities. But very often the key component of network marketing is overlooked; the customer. The best and most powerful network on earth is that of the happy and satisfied customer. If you keep your customers happy and they recommend you to friends and family, you know you are onto a winning concept. And great enterprises are usually very adept at creating a loyal following among their core customer base (Apple pops into mind). And with a loyal following a lot of the marketing effort will be done for free by those very same customers. It is the best of worlds. Not only do you get to sell to these people, they are driving sales from others as well. And research clearly shows that we are far more likely to listen to recommendations from somebody we know and trust. Not that we need reasearch to clarify that though, it is common sense. Now, there have been many studies over the years regarding how many people an average unhappy customer will tell about his/her bad experience. All studies come back with different results and there seems to be differencies for example between different industries. But as a general rule of thumb an unhappy customer will complain to 10 other persons about a bad experience. There is a saying among marketers that a happy customer tells one friend, but an unhappy person tells everybody. But the marketing landscape is changing rapidly and new technologies, software and social communities have literally changed old marketing truths. In this day of age the saying should be more like: Satisfied customers tell one person, unsatisfied customers tell Google, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook. And thats just for now. New social vehicles tend to surface from time to time and a negative company review can reach a devastatingly large audience at the speed of light. Another marketing vehicle not to be overlooked are the many blogs that are around. Today there are blogs about virtually anything and everything and between them these blogs have a respectable following. What´s more, that following is usually made up of regulars, and that means that any recommendation from a blogger they follow will have a massive marketing impact. One of the main reasons for this is of course that follovers of a blog gain trust in the blogger. After all they feel they have gotten to know him/her and what they are about. The relationship between a blogger and his/her readers has proven to be very strong indeed, and this fact has not been lost on the marketing community.

Happy customers are definitley the best ambassadeurs a company can have and social networking on the internet has proven to be a marketing powerhouse, but it doesn´t hurt to spread the world and do some traditional old-fashioned networking as well. Our advice is to put your company name out there in any way you can. Let the world know what you are about. And never miss  a chance to do some “soft-selling”. What we mean by soft-selling is doing a light sales pitch in a situation where you know no sale is going to be made. You simply do the sales pitch to merket and profile your company and increase the knowledge about you and your products/services. Soft selling, if done correctly, will very often result in something. It rarely results in a sale right then and there. But it may well lead to a sale further down the road, and all because you raised the awareness about your company a long time ago on a business meeting you can barely remember. Another positive spin-off from “soft-selling” that happens quite often is that those sitting on the receiving end of the pitch helps you out in some way. It can be that they give you a lead on a prospective client, or they give you some advice on who could be worth looking up, or they can tell you to come back in a month or two since they think they might be more interested to do business with you then. Although a sale is not made on this meeting, it is very beneficial for the longevity and stamina of your business. And by doing these soft selling meetings you are continually maintaining your network, and improving on it.

Let´s move on to have a close look at some of the most important players of a solid network; the gatekeepers. While the gatekeepers may not have the highest salaried or the fanciest titles, they very often have something else which is priceless; they have the ear and truts of the big boss. They can make or break a deal, and those who have been around for a long period of time often end up giving the CEO their candid view on things. As you might imagine, being on the right side of the gatekeepers of this world will open a lot of gates for you.



Don´t be afraid to ask (for help, favours et c)

not much for clubs (quality contacts) exchange favours particularly new enterprise


Tratten säljare stjärna

Behålla gamla kunder och fylla på med nya

A general rule of thumb is that it´s five times more expensive to win a new customer than to keep a current customer.

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