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It's part sales, part marketing, part branding, part market research and development.

But most of all, it's an art whose masters have made millions.

Join me as we explore this conversation

Build Your Network Before you need it!

Ok -

So it's not an original thought.

But a few interactions I've had over the last couple of days has really illustrated this for me.

I had a good friend and colleague Linda Baugh from American Career Executives come through my Linked In webinar. She trains people to tap into their networks to find the right positions for themselves. After completing the program, she approached me to make it available to all of her clients. "A great Linkedin Profile is critical".

Then I was working with another client, Bil Austin of Arizona High Tech Talent Partnership and he was sharing with me about his work with The Scottsdale Job Network and how they help people find Phoenix Jobs.

It struck me how important it is to spend time building relationships with people in your network. In the training I do, I'm often surprised at how little attention people pay to the quality of their networks and the quality of the relationships in them.

In fact, in our transaction oriented, bright-and-shiny, ADHD-like relationship to our everyday life, we often forget the reality of how networked we really are. Think about it - schools, work, place of worship, associations, family - all networks.

Take care of your networks and they will take care of you!

So Many Sources . . .

I met today with one of my students who has been in his industry for decades. He said something that I found intensely interesting - he was so confused and suprised about how he was getting business. He recently brought on a younger associate who was flyering and was getting business that way. "I thought that was long dead" he said to me.

It got me thinking - how many of you are confused and surprised about where your business comes from? How many of you are so busy trying to get business that you've forgotten to really look and see where your business really comes from?

We spent about a half hour really looking and came up with the following assessment:

General marketing - flyering, direct mail
Referrals from past clients
Referrals from a specific set of industry partners

I asked him what his strategy was with each and he looked at me blankly. "What do you mean?" I just do whatever comes my way (not an exact quote - just the gist).

Sound familiar?

Imagine what could happen to your bottom line if you put some thought into your general marketing strategy - what tactics actually produce results? And are those tactics habituated or are they only there when you get to them? How could you systematize those strategies that work?

Do you consistently touch base with your past clients and offer them something of value? Are you at the top of their mind when they need what you sell? If not, why not? What could you do to habituate consistent past client follow up? What patterns could you put in place in your daily routine? And are you asking for referrals to people like them? Do they know that you grow your buisness by referrals? Or are you functioning under the hope that because you did such a good job that they are going to refer you in the future? Face it - if you don't keep yourself in front of these folks, they forget you - they have lives of their own with problems that crop up every day. They aren't thinking about you. You have to be thinking of them.

Have you identified key industry partners who could be referring you because you are a natural complement to what they offer? Have you considered how you could make them look good? Have you approached them to propose an alliance? Think about the impact of habituating contact with these folks - a steady stream of referrals to your perfect client.

Getting business is not hard. Getting good business is even easier. But you have to step out of the day to day operations of your enterpise and examine what you are doing in order to tap into the opportuinties that are right under your nose.

There's an old saying in the insurance industry "That worked so well we stopped doing it." What have you stopped doing that gets you the kind of buisness you really want?

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