We are over connected!
How to narrow the odds in your favour
While facebook has billions of members around the world, the chances are high that few if any will either be or ever become your customers. For this reason most in business do not see Facebook as a business tool, yet it is where the people are.
Of course many swear by Facebook – and as a certified Facebook advertiser I do know how to make it work – this article though, is not about Facebook.
Fish Where We Know The Right Fish Are
When fishing, you want to fish where the fish are. Yet when you talk to professional fishermen and women, they are always determined to fish for a particular type of fish. So it is not fish where the fish are, it is fish where we know the fish we want are. This is usually how precise most of those in sales are, particularly those who work in the professions.
However, like most of us uncle David is a busy chap, with lots of projects on. As a result I try to avoid interruption so I can concentrate on the job in hand. For this reason I tend not to look at my inbox too often, as it is a great time suck.
Similarly I tend not to surf the web, I tend not to spend time browsing facebook, and if I catch myself doing so I quickly shut it down, knowing this is not how I should spend my time. Even with all its filtering and organisation even gmail manages to distract as I still “check” that the system is not mis-appropriating my emails!
It’s My Personal Bubble!
In any case, like many I know, I have created a personal bubble that is all but impenetrable so that I can get on with the projects I have on hand. Preferring to time manage rather than completely rule things out.
My view is generally that if it is urgent enough, someone somewhere will find a way to get through to me. And that pretty much works. Except in one area. That is the area of new clients. I don’t know about you, but when a new client shows interest I want to get to that person with interest quickly.
I am simply keen to demonstrate that I can do the job and let the person know that their need to search for a supplier is over, they have found one: me. This one area needs special treatment for obvious reasons. So unsurprisingly, I am interested in being interrupted by these new business opportunities.
As a busy consultant I would rather not lose the ones that are coming to me, especially if they are referred. Plus if they are referred, it is not only my reputation at stake it is the reputation of the person that refers me too.
If someone refers me, as I know if I refer someone else, I expect that recipient of the referral to make contact with the person I am referring quickly. Plus, if nothing else I expect a thank you, some recognition and ideally although not deservedly to return the favour.
I know that in the bigger world the more I refer, the more I will be referred. The co-relation has never been 1:1 it is just a basic tenant of good karma that if you put good stuff out there, you will get good stuff back. You never know where things will lead, we just know that you have to be in it to win it.
So I started to think that while the 80:20 rule is one thing, my particular objectives are even lower, my vital few, the specific fish I am looking for are possibly 20% of the 1% I know – or am connected to by all of the connected media. Or less! In any case I would like to be alerted when they came in so I can react quickly – wouldn’t you? Plus I want to let more people know that I get more business by referral.
I started to realise this situation did not exist as I wanted it. I have long had a subscription to a very powerful CRM system and I found another supplier who could integrate and send texts for me. For a while I have been able to marry the two together, albeit expensively.
Collectively this cost more than $300 a month. Quite a lot for a few texts, although the CRM package does other things too. The idea showed some promise as I was able to prototype in this way. Yet still there were more things that I could wish for and so I started to bend my CRM system more and more until I got to a point, where I had reached it’s capacity. The CRM was not designed for my purpose, it has a lot of flexibility, yet I could only take it so far.
So, I decided, like a crazy person, to write my own software.
Even though I considered myself a novice and have never done any professional programming ever. I thought why not? I could learn. How hard could it be?
Interestingly I spotted an Amazon Web Services (AWS) event was being held in London a few weeks ago so I set out to attend it. There I was told how I could quickly learn to become an AWS practitioner. I could learn online and at the end there was a small cost to take a trial exam to see if I might qualify and if I passed I might like to pay the full amount and take the full exam. I did all of that and passed with flying colours. Hook, Line and Sinker!
Now a Certified AWS Practitioner!
Certified for something, that’s for sure.
To cut a long story short. I have written a pretty simple system, 100% hosted in the cloud. It has cost me nothing but time and effort (that’s about a month so far and 5000 iterations) and I am about ready to launch…
When I do, I plan to give it away for free – as I am looking to see if there are a vital few more like me who would appreciate such a thing.
Are you one of the vital few?
My all new: Seven Wonders of Referral Marketing
If you are interested to know more and get a copy of my all new: Seven Wonders of Referral Marketing register here and I will send you a copy. I hope to be able to share a link to the working application in just a few days.