I previously wrote the briefing – Is “attraction marketing” the best way to find new clients?
It’s worth reading again if you’ve already seen it, and reading for the first time if not. The bottom line is that most new business, for most consultants, comes via word-of-mouth.
So why do most consultants – and the agents they hire – focus entirely on abstract ‘attraction’ methods of marketing?
I feel the answer to this question has something to do with focus and confidence.
Focus because most consultants don’t plan for networking and referrals, which are the main tactics of word-of-mouth. They treat these as ‘drive-by’ opportunities. It’s easier to plan for marketing projects like website renewal, email outreach, etc.
Confidence, because when I ask people how they approach networking consistently, or asking for referrals, they always give me vague answers. That’s because they don’t do it often, or aren’t systematic when they do.
Let’s test this with your data.
- How many influential people do you have in your network? (By influential I mean quality connections. Like decision makers, or people who have influence, or people who have direct access to a decision maker.)
- How often do you talk (not email) with those influential people about something of substance?
- How many referrals did you ask for in total last week? Last month? Last quarter? (In effect expanding the network of influential relationships you have.)
If you have some big numbers … stop reading. If you don’t know your numbers, or only have small numbers … congratulations, because you have an actionable insight. Which was the purpose of this email.
Now you know you must do something to grow your most powerful business development channel. If you don’t know what, or how, that’s fine because you can always get in touch and ask me.