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Blind Spot

The blind spot detector on my loaner Mazda 6 lights up as the car on my left appears in my side-view mirror. That’s right. There’s a simple way to eliminate blind spots.

Yet no one does it.

In fact, it’s such a safety problem that car manufactures have gone to great expense to create blind spot detectors.

All because in Driver-Ed we’re taught the wrong way to adjust our mirrors.

That adjustment creates the blind spot.

It’s not a problem with the equipment.

It’s a problem with how everyone is taught to use it.

And learning the new way?

I’ll admit that it took a few days to get used to the new mirror positions.

It’s jarring not to see your own car anymore in your own mirrors.

Yet, I know where my car is.

I want to see the cars around me.

And it gets me thinking about your Elevator Pitch.

Because we train blind spots into our business networking.

Any time you

  1. Change your Elevator Pitch based on your audience
  2. Study attendance lists before attending an event
  3. Ask someone you’ve just met for a referral
  4. Ask one of your clients for a referral
  5. Follow up on the business cards you collected from an event

You’re missing the very opportunities that make business networking fun, exciting, and, yes, profitable.

So here are five ways to adjust your business networking mirrors to finally see the opportunities that are all around you.

1. Your Elevator Pitch

Talk about a recent client success.

Nobody learns anything from your name, title, and number of years in business.

In fact, it makes you invisible.

Because no one is going to sign up with you based on your years in business.

They will sign up with you to help them solve their business problems.

When you talk about how you helped a real client solve their real problem, you can be sure there are other people in the audience who know people who are trying to solve that same problem.

That’s what generates qualified leads.

2. Attendance Lists

Studying attendance lists just sets you up for disappointment.

People blow off networking events all the time.

Especially important people.

And complaining that you can’t connect with that perfect person is not a productive (or profitable) way to start business conversations with the people who are actually at the event.

Forget about the attendance lists.

Go to the event and talk to the people who are actually there.

3. Asking Strangers for Referrals

It’s awkward.

They just met you.

They aren’t going to share their best contacts with you yet.

And if they do, then that’s not a good sign about the strength of their network.

You have to get to know people.

Develop trust.

Share your client success stories.

Before they’ll be willing to introduce you to their inner circle.

4. Asking Clients for Referrals

It’s awkward.

If they knew of someone they would send them along.

If you have to ask, you haven’t earned it.

And why would you ever want to introduce awkwardness into your client relationships?

5. Follow up from business cards

A lot of people confuse getting a business card with making a connection.

And if you’re making more than 5 connections at an event, you’re really just collecting business cards.

Start conversations.

Make connections.

And if you have a reason to follow up with someone, getting their card is just a shortcut for them writing down their contact information.

That’s the key.

Find the people you enjoy talking to.

And get their business card so you can set up a 1-to-1.

That’s networking.

The other is just cold calling.

Stick to networking.

What blind spots have you overcome in your networking efforts? Leave a comment in the chat box below.

If you are looking to become more aware of the opportunities that are all around you, I offer one-on-one Elevator Pitch coaching sessions to help you talk about what you do in a way that gets people excited about what you do.

 

4 comments on “Blind Spot

  1. As a life coach I am struggling with building my client data base. Most people either don’t know what it means or don’t believe in it.

    1. Hi Delphine,

      Thanks for posting on my blog!

      I work with a lot of life coaches, and the first key is not to call yourself a life coach! People aren’t looking for help with their “life.” That’s just not the way they think. Which is why you get such resistance to it.

      Instead, think about what people do want.

      Stronger relationships with spouse, kids, boss.
      The guts to go after an exciting new career.
      More time with family / flexibility at work.

      People will be interested in the particular outcome that’s most important to them right now.

      If you want to discuss further, I’m happy to set up a complimentary 15 minute call. The easiest way to get on my schedule is here: http://calendly.com/improvandy/15min.

      Thanks and I look forward to talking with you.

  2. I know why I wanted my own home based business
    I’ve worked and reworked my elevator pitch dozens of times, and I think a person can have several of them.
    I know what I’m going to do in my business
    But I don’t know how or where (my blind spot) to find customers? I’ve tried so many diferent marketing approaches, social media, networking (and your right the influential ones generally don’t come) meet ups etc still no customers. Handed out cards, joined mastermind groups, created a call to action. Learned about copying, branding, SEO’s, website editing, meta tags etc etc I just want to be in my studio, customers arrive and I teach — is that a pipe dream or not? How, or who to market a small business that’s the question here. Frankly, I suck at marketing and all of this is taking me from what I really want to do!

    1. Barbara,
      Thanks for posting. You’ve come to the right place. I’ve been to your website and it looks pretty good, so I’m surprised to hear that you’re struggling.

      Not getting any customers is generally a symptom of an Elevator Pitch that’s not specific enough, unclear packaging of your products and courses, or that starving artists don’t make the best paying clients.
      If you’re interested I’d be happy to talk to you for a few minutes to see if I can give you any ideas. The call is complimentary. The easiest way to get on my schedule is here: http://calendly.com/improvandy/15min.

      It’s not supposed to be this hard. Let’s figure out how to get you some clients.

      I look forward to talking with you.

      Andy

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