Even after doing all your target market analysis and creating your client avatar, some people will still say NO to your products and services. The reasons are numerous – ranging anywhere from the price is not affordable to not understanding the benefits you’re offering – but these responses are not reasons to give up. Remember that any kind of business marketing, both online and in person, is not about the sale: it’s about building the relationship.
Relationship marketing is about just that: building a long-term relationship that fosters customer loyalty, interaction, and engagement. It’s not about a quick sale or adding new names to your prospect list. Right now, at the beginning of these relationships, it’s all about proving your worth and showing your expertise in a helpful way to gain trust from your audience.
I once heard a marketer ask, “Did you marry your spouse the moment you met them? Of course not, so don’t expect your prospects to buy your product the moment you meet them either.” That idea really stuck with me because we’ve heard time and again that prospects become customers when they know, like, and trust you. Hitting someone up with your sales pitch at a networking meeting eliminates the “getting to know you” phase and then you’ll always be remembered as desperate or uncouth.
Tip #1: Be seen. Networking is vital to spreading the word about your business. LinkedIn is a phenomenal place to start but being seen on social media means being active every day of the week. Post to your feed and in your groups; share about live events you’re attending; add a personal element to your posts by sharing a new-to-you vacation spot. No need to spend hours a day on LinkedIn but posting a minimum of 5 days a week is necessary.
Also remember to network in person. Attend business events in your community. Inquire about joining your local Chamber of Commerce, BNI chapter, or Toastmasters group. If it’s in your budget, sponsor a youth sports team or, at the very least, participate at local community day fairs by renting a booth and meeting your local neighbors.
Tip #2: Treat all your connections as gold. When you get to the point in your relationship that you’re asking for a meeting or a sale but the prospect says “No,” don’t take it as a personal affront and kick that connection off your list. Instead, get some feedback about why they said no and don’t be afraid to ask if they know of anyone in their circle who could use your service. This type of mutual friend introduction is much more welcoming than you randomly trying to connect blindly.
Also, you never know when your connection will change their mind and decide to hire you. It could be six months from now or two years from now but continued interaction on LinkedIn will keep your name front and center in their mind.
Tip #3: Be consistent. Consistency refers to posting to LinkedIn daily but it also means to keep your offerings updated and produce new content on a regular basis. Write a new article or record a new video for your LinkedIn feed on a weekly basis. Create checklists or short reports on a regular basis and hand offer them on your feed and in your groups. If your prospects and connections see the same old products or freebies on your site or in your feed, they will think you’re business is as stagnant as your offerings.
Hearing “no” is a disappointment but that doesn’t mean it will be a “no” forever. The timing of your offering for your prospect may not be right, plain and simple, so keep fostering that friendship/relationship and be ready when the prospect changes their mind.