I hope the title of this article aroused your curiosity! What could this habit be that will help you sell Big Ticket Items?
It has nothing to do with copywriting or creating beautiful web pages. But it does have to do with something even more
important - building relationships!
What is this habit? Well it has many names but the most familiar one is probably is "networking".
Now, I am not a big fan of that word. Why? Because it makes me uncomfortable.
I've always associated the word "networking" with "schmoozing" or hanging out at events doing nothing more than chatting
people up, telling them about myself and my business and handing out business cards. Yuk! The other reason that
"networking" makes me uncomfortable is that I am not a natural "networker".
Perhaps you feel the same way? But please don't leave just yet :-). Networking is an incredibly important habit that you
MUST develop to really market and sell Big Ticket Items. And I'm going to give you an approach that has made me more
comfortable and some strategies and tips as well.
Why network? Well, because building relationships with other marketers and business people is a very profitable and fun way
to sell anything. When you build a relationship with another marketer or business person and you really show them how much
value you can provide, that can lead to a long term, profitable joint venture relationship. A joint venture is simply a
business agreement between two or more people that is beneficial to their customers and profitable for them.
For example, you might meet someone at an event (e.g. seminar, workshop, chamber of commerce meeting) whose customers are
interested in something very similar to what you have. You might even be this person's competitor in a way, but don't let
that stop you. Customers sometimes buy multiple products that meet their needs or wants. Or you might have a product that
enhances what this person's customers want or have already bought. In either case, if you can build a relationship with this person, and they love your product then you can come to an agreement about selling your product to their customers. Or you might find that someone else has a product that your customers would love. And you can sell their product to your customers.
And this is especially crucial for selling Big Ticket Items. Because, if someone you build a relationship with endorses your
Big Ticket Product to their customers, that goes a very, very long way to eliminating their natural skepticism towards your
product. The person you build a relationship with already has a relationship with his customers. Their endorsement of you
automatically helps build your credibility with their existing customers.
Did you know that most people attend seminars and workshops not just for the information you can learn? They go to build
relationships with the people they meet. Many of these relationships turn into joint ventures later on.
Ok, as I mentioned I am not a natural "networker". I like to think of networking as "learning other people's stories". When
I attend an event, I don't go there with the intention to try to find joint venture partners. I might find some but I really
want to just learn about the other people who are at the event and see what commonalities we might have.
I am a fairly social person and I am just curious to learn about them and their businesses. I find that this approach makes me far more comfortable about "networking" because I am not looking to put together a joint venture immediately.
So now let's go over some strategies and tips for learning other people's stories and building relationships.
- Ask questions. Most people love to talk about themselves and their businesses. If you do nothing else they will leave with the impression that you are a great conversationalist.
- I hope it goes without saying that you need to have high quality products and services or else you are wasting your time
building relationships that could lead to a joint venture of business agreement. There is no faster way to ruin a
relationship then to have someone endorse your product or service than to have a bunch of unhappy customers with the product or service. Make sure what your offering is quality!
- If you are building a relationship with someone, make sure you do what you say you will do. Even when this has
nothing to do with a joint venture. Many times as you are coming to know someone new, you will find that there are things
that you can do and really want to do to help this other person out. If you promise to do something, make sure you follow
through as quickly as possible. How you act on any promises shows how you will act as a business partner as well. It is
always better to over deliver when building a relationship.
- Make sure any recommendations you give of other products, services or people are held to a high standard. People are going to judge YOU but what you recommend.
- Give, give, give and then get. Just give because you want to help. Giving freely makes most people want to return
the favor back. Not everyone will do it but the people who truly value your efforts to build a relationship will.
- Network with the best. In order for you to grow and build relationships with the best people you have to seek out
those people. This can be intimidating especially if you have less to offer initially. But most people are willing to give
you a chance. If you follow all the previous bullet points you will quickly grow in their esteem.
- Network for diversity. When you are networking, try to find people that have different talents and strengths. So
for example if you are interested in generating traffic for your website you might try to hook up with John Reese. Or if you are interested in list building you might seek out Joel Christopher. Or if you were interested in copywriting or direct marketing you might build a relationship with Ted Nicholas. This way as you relationships grow, you have a number of different friends that can help you in different ways.
- Treat all prospective relationships the same! You don't know a person's background initially and they could be
really helpful to you. Don't be too quick to judge a person without getting to know them. Someone who has a very casual
appearance could be a very big name in the Big Ticket Marketing area. Or they might be a software genius who can help you
build your next product. Or they could be a business millionaire that can help you fund an idea you have.
- Build relationships BEFORE you really need them. There are two types of networking. The first is implicit
networking. e.g. you don't have a specific agenda. The second is explicit networking. e.g. Finding a new job, locating a
needed professional, getting your child into the right school. It is far better to build up relationships with people in the
implicit phase rather than in the explicit phase. This give them time to get to know you, like you and trust you. So when
you do need something explicit, it is easier to ask for their help.
- Keep your business cards separate from any cards you collect. e.g. Keep your business cards in your left pocket
and the ones you collect in your right pocket. Write notes about the person you meet on the back of their business card as
soon as possible afterward without being obvious about it so that you can remember your conversation. Keeping the business
cards separate avoids a sometimes awkward impression that you are just collecting business cards and notes about people if
you bring out a mix of cards. While you are collecting information is really just for you to help build a stronger
relationship with that person. Transfer all information you collect to a contact database as soon as possible afterwards so
it is easy and convenient to recall your conversation. And, make sure you follow up with the person after the event!
I hope my approach of "learning other people's stories" and the strategies and tips I've given you eventually leads to strong
long term relationships and to profitable Big Ticket joint ventures in the future!
By the way if you are interested in reading more about networking, I found the book "Network Magic" by Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin to be very good. You can find it at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble online.
Copyright © 2006Chuck Daniel, Like Magic Marketing, LLC -- All Rights Reserved.
Chuck is a former Microsoft software designer and program manager who spent more than a decade happily working on Email and CRM. Admittedly a seminar, workshop and information addict, Chuck left Microsoft to pursue his interests in personal
development, internet, direct and information marketing and to promote and work for charitable causes.
Would You Like to Make BIG Bucks
With BIG Ticket Items Online?
This article may be reprinted in its entirety in your E-zine or on your Site as long as the content is not modified, all
links are left in place and you include the resource box as listed above.
If you do use this material, please send us a copy of the publication. Thanks.