If you were to ask me who my ideal client is for The Value Pages Group, the lazy answer would be “Business Owners and People in Sales.” That’s what you call casting a very wide net. Can you imagine how many business owners there are in America and how many people out there who earn their living as a salesman? Probably MILLIONS! Would I like them all as clients? Sure, but….
The problem with the “wide net” approach is the image that it conjures up in the minds of those you talk to. If I tell my friend who works in the furniture factory that I want to talk to “Business Owners and People in Sales” he might think of the 1 or 2 people that he knows that fit that description. If my friend refers me to two people, is that successful networking? Not if one is 75 years old and content with still using her typewriter and the other is a part time salesman down at the Chevy dealership. My friend gave me exactly what I asked for, but what he gave me had no value for my business…or should I say my business presented no value to the people he referred me to. That’s not successful networking.
Let’s Be Honest: For Most People Success Doesn’t Come In Onesies and Twosies
Success in networking comes when you make connections with people who have an abundance of relationships with people of your ideal client type. Working hard and getting an appointment to sit down with such a center of influence is only half the battle. If that person then asks me what type of person I’m looking to connect with, guess what’s going to happen if I reply “Business Owners and People in Sales!”? My center of influence, that I worked so hard to get an appointment with is going to sit there with a blank expression on his face. He may know thousands of people who own businesses or who work in a sales position, but he won’t be able to think of a single one. And there’s a very good chance that I just blew a tremendous opportunity by not providing enough detail about the type of person who benefits the most from my business’ solutions.
It’s very important to know and be able to articulate quickly the type of person that benefits from your business’ products and services. In my case, I’ve made these types of mistakes enough to know that my ideal clients are mobile, internet savvy, and probably under 40. If you know someone who is self employed or in sales and loves his or her iPhone, I can probably help that person increase their internet exposure by developing their online brand and connecting them to like minded professionals in their area through the technology that they’re comfortable with.
Have you taken the time to think about who your ideal client is? Leave a description of who you’re looking to work with in the comment section, and hopefully we can all help build one another’s businesses!
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