Here’s another step in information marketing (see the other articles on Information Marketing), this time applied to networking.
This is a way to take a prospect through a step by step warming up that results in 20% to 70% of them moving forward….this time through networking.
As a coach, you should be an unlimited resource for helping your clients. A part of that can be continually sending them emails, articles, and just plan face-to-face opportunities to expand their business (business coach, executive coach), or answers to their life or career problems (for life coaches and career coaches). This should apply to any kind of coaching. Just provide as many of the answers to the problems that your client is facing.
The more you give, the more value you have established that you provide. If you are really good, you can establish such value in a very short time that they will be begging for more.
Some coaches respond with, “People will drain me, take it all for free.”
Let me state what I said earlier, IF you are good, you can give a little, prove so much value in that short time, that they will clamor to want more. So, you encourage them to want that next meeting…and the next…and the next. Each step is a bigger commitment in time, and eventually cost. This is all about giving value until they want more, then asking them if they’d like more at the next meeting.
So, how do you do that in networking?
When you are talking to someone at a networking event, start asking them what they are struggling with. Then say something like, “I wrote an article about how a client of mine did ____________, and __________ (state measurable results). Would you like to have a copy?” Send them a copy, and make sure that you sign them up for your weekly emails, Hints and Tips on _________________. The email is a way of continually nurturing that relationship. If you are using an autoresponder, then it can be nearly on autopilot.
In most cases, I offer to send the first article to them by email, IF they’d be willing to discuss how it might work for them, and then we set a time for a call to discuss if that will work for them.
Sometimes I email them a copy, sometimes I mail them a printed copy, sometimes I send them a link to the articles that are published in online articles. In any of those cases, I make sure that they see that I am a published online author, an expert in the field. And, I am there to help them through this issue.
At no time am I trying to sell them anything. I want them to want me after exploring how those articles helped someone else with exactly their problem.
Of course, I will always be asking, “was that helpful?” “How helpful?” “Do you think something like that would solve your problem.”
And if all of those are “Yes, it was great.” Then I will be asking “would it be helpful if we set down together to work through issues like those that helped the client in that article?”
The “Yes,” in that instance is the first step toward closing the sale.
You do have to ask for it, but it isn’t a high pressure sale at all. Most of the time the prospect will be asking you for the next step.