Today’s conversation: Creating non-conforming industry spheres of influence.
Getting to know another business in a group of people that is not traditionally aligned with your own is a great exercise in finding new and creative ways to develop meaningful lead generation that sticks. But, it’s not always an easy task.
Ever belong to a networking group where you feel like you don’t fit the niches already in the group? Where everyone else has a natural way of referring business to someone else in the group. Example, a REALTOR may have an easier time connecting with and creating an alliance with a mortgage broker or inspector, and vice versa. And, that alliance can sometimes create a feeling of a private little club of business. Welcome to high school and those darn clicks, as entrepreneurs, we either watched from afar or drove so hard at staying clear from. But, now, those are the same businesses you want to work with, and, you hope, will want to work with you. More so, you hope they will be able to find meaningful referrals for your business and you hope you can overcome the ‘ties that bind’ those alliances to provide meaningful referrals back to them; when so many within those aligned industries already have their ‘teams’ formed.
SO! Just how do you break in?
How do help your networking business group members find new referrals? What’s the best way to help them help you find qualified referrals?
That is really what we’re exploring today! The conversation was lead by group member, Jacki Girtz, from Girtz Insurance. Jacki paired everyone in the room with someone who was either from an opposing industry and/or who had never had a Lunch Buddy appointment (see our Member Expectations section) with one another previously. In the allotted time, we were able to get to know something about the way someone else moves through their business, processes service requests, or handles a piece of business to see if there were any moments within that process that could create an opportunity for a lead to the other business person we were speaking with. This exercise was conceived of the necessity that we, as business owners, need to break in or out of those industry clicks and form another, unilateral, non-conforming industry sphere of influence.
The results of the exercise were astounding for many.
Maria Jondahl, with Marketplace Home Mortgage, discovered when she comes across a client that she can clearly see has a challenge with overdraft fees, or she requires a more defined P&L statement from before she can make a decision but the client looks at her like a deer in the headlights, that she has an opportunity to open up a conversation about Susie Jose, with Carefree Bookkeeping.
Tanya Troska, with Back2Basics, LLC, discovered even though she works with a number of REALTORS who already have an alliance with a lender, title company/person, or a home inspector, she can ask them if their marketing materials highlighting these referrals have been updated recently and highlight strengths and benefits of each. This can open the door to a conversation about how Jeremiah Anderson, with J.B. Anderson Home Inspection does things above and beyond the typical inspector, and it’s all included in his pricing… things like checking for Appliance Reports to see if there have been any recalls, offering a free 90-warranty or 5-year roof leak warranty after the inspection. And, even that post-inspection follow-up from another team member to ensure the client has no further concerns or questions.
In both of these examples, like so many more that happened at the table today, communication is the key. And, communication is the one thing this group of small business owners seems to have in common – consistently shining in the eyes of their customers and colleagues.