We all know the routine.
Someone asks you to connect with them on LinkedIn. You don’t know them but give them the benefit of the doubt and accept their invitation – just in case they turn out to be a valuable connection.
Before you get chance to pop the question in a personal message: “Why are you connecting with me?” or “How can I help?”, bang comes the instant answer.
The immediate hard sell – buy their services or their products. Forget any interest in you. You buy from me. Now.
And that’s usually the end of the exchange.
You’d think they’d get bored by this bound-to-fail blunderbuss approach to marketing. Not so.
Egged on by old school social marketers or so-called gurus, the ill-fated logic is if you contact enough people you’ll eventually find a gullible person who won’t ask too many questions and will buy from you.
Oh, and the more the merrier. Maybe. But not if you don’t know them and will never develop a relationship with them.
Trouble is, such a scattergun approach is (a) time-consuming, (b) boring, (c) destined for failure.
A more measured option is to be targeted and focused.
Targeted, as in you take time to identify and think through who you want to reach and why (and it isn’t always customers, by the way) and focused, as in you develop a process to make it work.
Spending time to develop and shape relationship journeys means you plan a route to building an affinity with people you really truly want to meet or develop a business relationship with.
And of course you start with an end in mind.
So who will that work? Firstly, by listening. That means tapping into their wavelength (what interests them).
Think of it like a radio dial. It is easy to locate a certain station, but you need some fine tuning to obtain a clear sound.
Such attention to detail – focus – means you can engage with the other person (or group of people) through their concerns, interests and passions.
It may be a blog, a question, an article, photo/image or a post that is interesting and relevant. You find common ground and go from there.
Once you open a dialogue and start a conversation the possibilities are endless.
But you need to plan where it is going. At some stage you’ll want to ask a question – be it about a meeting, event or offer.
Ultimately, it is about bringing someone into your world. Gently.
Winning business isn’t just about being able to win new business but being a winner in the way you do business and develop business relationships.
At March’s Business Media Club meeting, we’ll bring a targeted and focused approach to becoming a winner at developing relationship journeys.
And with GDPR in mind, the specific skill we’ll focus on is newsletters and e-shots – how to devise effective campaigns to start the engagement process.
Our next club meeting will be held on Friday, March 23 (9.45am-12.30pm) at the CGM Media Centre in Worcester.
The club provides a blend of media, communications and marketing training, personal development and quality networking in a sharing setting.
Visit the Business Media Club page for more details.
Book your seat for this meeting on Eventbrite.