Not everyone is a customer.
Online or in person you will meet a host of people. Some will, over time, become customers. But most will not. Many will be contacts forgotten almost as quickly as they passed through your sphere. Others will form lasting relationships with you often as just an acquaintance that “gets you.” A few will be referral sources.
All are evaluators of your brand.
Whether they are in your headlights for moment or seemingly along for the ride as you navigate the fog of building a business each has an influence on your perceived brand. That is true whether their assessment is formed from an internet experience or a candid conversation over coffee.
Networking ain’t what it used to be.
These days, due to Covid, the closest you can get without pushing the regulations is a one-to-one Zoom call. Your favorite association is meeting virtually whether it’s in your home town, nationally and even internationally. Expense accounts are no longer a major item for corporations as travel and entertainment have pretty much been eliminated.
Yet, some people still get the call.
What makes them different?
Why are they rain-makers for their firms?
Stages of Success
Certain things work whether you are meeting virtually or in person. You have to step up in order to be at the forefront when others need a solution to a problem. You have to consciously work at being the one they call.
There are stages to success:
- Fresh New to the business or the area or to the role you fill in the organization.
- Memorable Positioned in a way that makes it easy for folks to remember you, your name and what you do.
- Branded People recognize your name, your organization’s mission and the positive attributes you bring to the table.
- Tried Someone takes a chance on you, hiring you and your operation to solve a problem for them.
- Successful You complete the project on time, on the money and with the results promised.
- Proven Your experience and credentials have paid off for a number of clients
- Trusted You are now the go-to guy or gal in your industry, market or geography for your expertise.
- Promoted You are asked to speak at conferences, appear on panels, interviewed by on and off-line media.
- Quoted Your views, based on solid data and good thinking become touchpoints in your area of expertise etched into prospects minds.
- Unforgettable You are now in a sustainable position and could probably put your practice on cruise control but you are driven.
- Indispensable Key clients will not make a move without consulting you.
- Legendary Over time you have changed the way a formidable group of men and women think in and around the businesses in which you provide advice and counsel. The world you set out to change is actually changing because of you.
What stage of success are you on?
Each of us moves at our own pace. Some more quickly than others. Speed is not the gating factor. Consistency is more important. Originality is more deserving. Trust, maintained over time is critical.
And so it goes.
Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc.
His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.