I often look around the room at networking events and think, are there any people here in the room that I could do business with?
It’s a valid question, as networking is part of an overall marketing strategy for your business. Your presence there is costing your business money. Is the cost of you being there being justified by the increase in your business.
For it to work effectively, it is good to have a strategy. Before you can have a strategy, you need to know who you are looking for.
Let’s have a look at an example: I have a friend who is a buildings project manager. He estimates that he can get a 10% return on investment for people net of all the fees (and some profit for him). All they have to do is put up money that he can source properties, do them up and sell them in short order.
So, are his clients just people with money?
Potentially, yes. However, that is not making him a lot of sales.
So I will ask you a question. Which of these pictures makes you feel good?
a) A House
b) A family
How does he make an emotional connection with people? Is he selling a house, a home, or a vision of the future.
Instead tell his story. He adores his family. He has a little boy and a girl. They are the apple of his eye. Through his building and project management work he wants to build them a future. Ahead may be college bills, weddings, first car, first home. He wants to be a dad who provides those things for his children.
If they want to get married, or go to college, or have a down-payment on a house, or a first car… he wants to have money available.
This is his vision of a happy family. One that he would like to share with other people.
He doesn’t want too much input from the investors as, if they let him get on with it, he can produce a beautiful looking, high quality finish to the house. When people get involved they tend to decorate for themselves, rather than for a profitable sale.
In this way, he is helping two families each time. The family that would like to live in the home and the family that is building a nest egg for their future… and the third family, his own.
This story appeals to people with young families who have money to invest. By making an emotional connection, as well as an intellectual ‘let’s make money’ connection, he gets into the hearts of his prospective investors.
So, those are the people he should target with advertising. Of course, other people are welcome to invest, too. Marketing has to be specific to be effective… those other investors would be collateral success.
When you are trying to fill a room for an event, try to think about your target customer. Be really specific. Think of ways that you can connect to them. What stories in your life are likely to resonate with theirs? What problems will your event solve for people? What are the problems in your life that you want to share with them? What are their passions? What is your emotional connection?
In his advertising my builder friend is also able to put that as a smaller company he can only service a couple of properties in each six month period. This has the added benefit of adding scarcity to the message. Rather than thinking that they will buy in six months, they are urged to commit now. Don’t forget, as you send out your message to ensure you let people know that tickets are limited and that deadlines are approaching.
This way you will fill the room with the high-quality people you want. Plenty of people to do good business with. Like the story above, in good business, with high-quality people, everyone wins.