Is Inbound Networking WOM on Steroids?

Word of Mouth Trumps Every Method of Customer Acquisition or Retention

Yet so many entrepreneurs put networking and word of mouth on the back burner. Many argue it takes too long, and they need something to happen now. Maybe it is our entrepreneurial ADHD kicking in that we run after the next bright shiny object thinking that this new thing is the magic bullet that will propel us to success. But really, if we start with this end in mind, we would be too busy with growth to run after the next bright shiny thing.

‘Inbound networking’ is no different. Word of mouth has existed since the beginning of recorded history. Inbound networking is just word of mouth with a shot of online steroids. 

Think about how much time it takes to go to a face to face networking event. Let’s say you are 30 minutes away. The event itself is 2 hours. That’s 3 hours. At the event you meet 12 new people. Only 2 of them are actual prospects or partners for you. Now imagine that the other 10 people who are not prospects or partners for you are prospects for your partner in TX, CA, or even overseas. Now imagine that you make a virtual introduction. Both parties know and trust you, so they are more likely to be open to the person you are introducing.

Now imagine 1/4 of all your connections are doing the same thing and every 12 new people they meet they refer or introduce 2 of them to you.

Add in the steroids of blogs, social media, etc. That 12 is 1200. It is not rocket science to understand that is how a business (whether a start-up or expanding business) doubles sales for sustainable and consistent growth.

For more about me, check out my musings on the Smarketing blog, watch my ADHD in real time on Twitter, or visit me on LinkedIn. Or if  you prefer to speak, select a time on my calendar, I will do the rest.

P.S: I’d also suggest reading this blog by Rick. 

Trusted Professionals

Last week I published “Inbound Networking – RainMakerMaker Style“.
I received this inquiry through LinkedIn. “I would like to do what you´ve offered concerning Peter Caputas collaborative group idea: With your help I want to lead a group that generates SALES using Inbound, Social and Referral Networking.
I replied with five questions including, ‘Have you chosen your “1-2 professionals that you trust”?
I was a little surprised at the reply. “What do you mean with: 1-2 professionals that you trust?
Honestly, I thought that everyone would get that. Let me explain.
Think about all the people that you’ve ever met.
Some you didn’t like. So, take them off the list.
Some you liked, but they didn’t like you. So, take them off the list.
Some don’t work. Aren’t good at something. Don’t have principles that align with yours. Are too focused on doing what they do for their clients that they aren’t considered and don’t want to be resources for their clients. Take them off the list.
What you’ll have left are a few professionals that you trust. Two of mine are Marshall Katz and Steve Groccia.
Marshall’s wife went to nursing school with my wife. He bought Cutco Cutlery from me almost 40 years ago and referred me to others. He became my insurance agent back then and I referred him to others. Our kids grew up together. We vacationed together. It’s natural that if anyone has an issue with insurance, I refer him.
Steve and I met when our sons were involved with youth sports. He introduced me to Rotary. He’s like no commercial banker that I’ve ever met. One day, I was in his office and he asked me if I would try to help a few of his customers. I left with a dozen business cards. EVERY ONE of those people said that if Steve said that they should talk with me, they would and almost every one of them became a client of mine. The next time I was in Steve’s office, I thanked Steve and asked him how I could repay him because business owners don’t switch banks every day. He replied that I should refer him when appropriate and (this is important) I should take very good care of his customers!
Get that. Don’t worry about him. Take care of his customers!
So, as a result of the way they live, Marshall and Steve have a huge number of people that trust them and are called upon for advice even if it’s not in their area of expertise. Why? Because the people that ask them for advice expect that they will associate with other professionals with the same standards. When they steer me in the direction of someone, the bar has been set and the deal is mine unless I screw it up.
So, who are your two and do you want my help to start an inbound networking group with them?

Inbound Networking – RainMakerMaker Style

Unless you live under a rock, have a flip phone or dial-up internet access, you’ve probably heard of Inbound Networking. (If you haven’t, click the link and catch up.)

Here’s my recap:
  • It’s possible to grow your business with referral networking.
  • It’s possible to grow your business with inbound marketing.
  • It’s possible to grow your business if you are a great salesperson.
But, if you are all three, you’ll be huge! A true 21st Century RainMaker.
I will help start (help, not start) 10-12 Inbound Networking Groups in July. We will be focused on growing sales by expanding our network’s footprint and reach online and 1:1.
You will need
  • 1-2 professionals that you trust
  • a LinkedIn profile and Twitter name
  • a willingness to be ‘other centered’
  • the ability to gently say. “No” to disqualified prospects
  • a conversation with me
I will provide
  • access to my network to grow yours
  • a link on my sidebar to you or your company
  • the opportunity to write for my blog and others for every member of every group
  • help with nurturing the virtual lead into a real live customer
  • a stone wall when you need to be kept on course
  • a sounding board when needed
What’s in it for me?
  • 10-12 groups with 6-20 members in each guest posting on my blog, cross promoting, my traffic will exponentiate (as will your exposure)
  • I will find ideal new clients
Some of you are thinking, “What a sales pitch!” Good bye. Nothing more to see here.
10-12 of you are thinking, “Network with Rick and his network on a regular basis? Uh, OK.” Send me an email with your number and availability 7/5 & 6. I’ll do the rest. (I’ll be at the beach, but if you don’t mind the surf in the background, it’s where I do my best work.)
BTW, if you look at this post, you’ll see growth. It wasn’t inbound marketing, it was inbound networking.
Welcome to the 21st Century!