Soviralnetbusworks and all that jaz
How do you find the longest way form a to b. Well here’s a good contender, call the guy in the next room on his mobile. That message will go into space bounce off a satellite and return to your pal next door.
In a world of 7000,000,000, in a country of 60,000,000 in a town of 30,000 people, how do you find 100 clients for your new accountancy business?
Why you search the 7 billion of course via the internet until you find some who happen to be near you and need an accountant, or at least like you enough to pay you anyhow. OK got that thanks.
Here’s the official theory, in so far as there is one:
You build as big a network as you can and you keep sending emails and publishing tweets and blogs so they all wake every morning wondering what you have to say to them today.
You keep asking what you can do to help and trying to get them business, or worrying about their personal lifes, until eventually they give in and say I know you don’t really want to be my accountant, but if I begged you, would you do my accounts?
Sales and marketing theory
This is one of the times when I can speak as an authority and indeed the principals are so widely taught and so well understood that it takes little effort to make the points successfully. Here goes.
You start with a product for which there is a defined market, i.e. You know that they have a need and that they are accessible and that it is possible to service this need profitably Product, Place, Price Promotion etc.(Common sense stuff)
Next you design your messages to position your offering so that people can understand it and can hang it on their mental notice board as close to the top of the list as possible. E.G. “The guy to call when you want straight talking and common sense solutions” “Mr No Bull …”
Now you need to target this market so you are delivering the messages to the right people, not the whole 7 billion, or even the 65 million, but maybe a few thousand. If you’re an accountant you might time this with a pressing annual need and you wouldn’t send it to too many Non-Doms. With me so far.
Now you give them an opportunity to put their hand up and say, I’m possibly in the market. E.G. A free booklet on setting up offshore trusts might attract them.
Next you need permission to pitch a few of these and permission to stay in touch with the others in case they need your products at some future time. The relationship building begins now, but most business people are strapped for time, so references and case studies, professional memberships and guarantees are a very important part of the mix. 2, or 3 out of every four who meet you will be unsure about some aspect of you, or the product, or their need and not do business this time, but most can remain in contact and maybe do business in future.
How I approached this confuddle
I have been planning this series for a while and always reluctant to make a start because there just seemed to be more to learn and new angles to consider.
I was faced with an agonising choice between methods of presenting the information. E.G. taking all the new information and then comparing it to what I already knew, superimposing it on this framework and presenting the differences. This is a great way to assimilate new knowledge and skills, but sometimes it blinds you to the whole concept so that you just miss the point.
Imagine introducing wine for the first time to a 10 pints a day man and having him approach the subject in this way?
As a natural born cynic (survivor) I am not good at the other method, E.G. suspending disbelief while you listen intently and even in the cinema, it had better be good or I’ll probably leave early, so I was not about to immerse myself in the” religion” of the thing in the hope that at some point I’d have a divine revelation.
What I have done is adapted a sort of midway approach that considers all viewpoints without extending the blog to book length. I hope you find it as useful, as I did.
Coming next week …
Why is it there? Is anybody really making any money form it? Why would it work as a way of winning customers? Why would anybody give up so much time for this when they could do it much more effectively by other means?