As an entrepreneur, the most lucrative way to spark immediate business is to tap into your power base. Your power base is all the people you know and are connected to. ‘Oh,’ you say, ‘I don’t want to bother my friends and family.’ That’s ridiculous. If you have a great product or service, you have an obligation to tell your network first and keep telling them.
When I first got into sales, I spent all my time trying to sell to people I didn’t know. Then one day, my uncle told me he had purchased the same product I sold from a competitor. When I asked why he didn’t buy it from me he said, “I didn’t know you sold the product.” I swore to myself I would never let this happen again. Leverage your power base – your family and friends – first. This is much more effective than working with strangers. Here are four ways to make sure you’re always building a power sales network.
• Make a list of every person you know, starting with the people closest to you
Start with your spouse or partner, then keep going outward to other family, friends, associates, teachers and every person you have ever made contact with. Make your list now and worry about how you will reach them later.
The saying, ’It takes money to make money,‘ is not true. It takes contacts to make contracts that will grow your business.
• Be a politician
Your everyday routine is a way to grow your base. Today I had a meeting with a bank about refinancing real estate. I shared business cards with everyone I came in contact with, from the guy who parked my car to the president of the bank and the folk at the nearby sandwich shop. I said to each of them: “If I can ever do anything for you, please give me a call.”
Operate like a politician running for office. Make a commitment to be out there shaking hands, handing out cards, kissing babies and taking an interest in everyone you meet.
• Become an online socialite
Every day I use social media to get attention, pay attention, ask questions and find people who may be interested in what I am doing. Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn have changed the game. It’s now possible for entrepreneurs with no money but a lot of desire and creativity to not only create a power base, but to become celebrities.
Today I tweeted over 20 times, posted on three different Facebook pages for a dozen posts, responded to a few dozen comments, wrote two blogs and posted two videos on YouTube.
I keep my eye on trending topics. For example, today when I saw #WhatBrokePeopleSay trending on Twitter, I started banging out related tweets such as: “Money doesn’t make people happy.” It took maybe 30 seconds. Then, about every 15 minutes, I posted new tweets on the topic while working on a book. In a very short period of time, with no cost other than my creativity, I got attention for my brand, engaged with followers, and added new followers to my power base.
It’s how I’ve been able to amass close to 250 000 followers and 226 000 likes on my Facebook page in the last four years. But it takes a willingness to be engaged. In that time, I’ve posted more than 33 000 tweets.
• Never quit working your power base
Once you initiate interest and connect or reconnect, don’t quit. I have a prospect who wasn’t quite ready to do business. I had to figure out creative ways over eight months to stay in contact with him.
One month I sent him a report that I thought would interest him, then I sent a video for his staff’s sales meeting, another month I checked in with a text, and asked if he would contribute to my blog. The next time I called him, I said: “When are we going to do business? I won’t quit until we do.” I still haven’t got his business, but I’m growing my power base and I won’t quit until he’s a customer.
Be exceptional in building and growing your power base and you will never be without opportunity.