SSM5 I Action Item 2

Supercharged Networking and Partnering

We’ve come to one of my absolute favorite ways to develop new relationships and business opportunities. Networking!

But this ain’t your grandparents idea of networking, my friend. This isn’t about signing up with the local Chamber, attending a monthly mixer and handing out business cards. We’re taking this concept to an entirely new level.

As I said before, I’m a big believer in eating my own dog food. (Never quite understood that analogy, but we’ll go with it.) In other words, I will never advise you to implement any business development or sales tactic unless I (or one of our trusted partners) knows that it will actually produce results. Or that I actually use myself.

And this one is “lay down” easy, fun and produces very fast results.

So what is it? Asking your target networking partners to share their expertise with you and your clients.

As an example, check out our own videocast here on SST. You’ll see many industry experts sharing their wealth of knowledge and expertise with me and with you. Why did they agree to be a guest? Because (a) they want to help you and (b) they want to start or build a relationship with you and (c) they recognize its value in building their own personal brand.

How did they first hear about the videocast? Mostly because I contacted them and asked them to participate. (Although I now have a steady stream of industry experts asking to be put on the schedule.)

I’m sure you see where this is headed. And (as always) it starts with targeting.

For instance, as we covered in the last module, insurance agents often make great networking partners. So a perfect place to start is by identifying the insurance agents who share the same clients as you. (Recall that you started the process of collecting those names through your client visit and emergency contact program.)

Identify an insurance agent as a networking/partnership target. Of course, at the top of the list should be your own agent, your company’s agent as well as the agents of your company’s staff.

Now check out his or her website. Do they have a blog or videos? Do they have any content related to security or loss prevention? For instance, you’ll see an actual video and blog article from insurance company websites in the sidebar that would fit the bill nicely.

Now, simply contact the agent and ask their permission to add their content to your own website, with a linkback to theirs. That’s it.

You will find most insurance agents very receptive to this, of course. Why wouldn’t they be? You’re offering something of clear and direct benefit to them that requires no effort on their part. (At this point, you’re not asking for a single thing in return.)

This is all about (as with any other target audience), creating awareness, interest and starting to create a relationship. While they may offer something in return, don’t ask for anything yet. We’ll get to that soon enough. (And when we do, they will be more than happy to provide it.)

The benefit to you is already clear, isn’t it? You’ve just made the first “beach landing” with a potential high-value networking partner. They’re going to appreciate your help with getting their content out to more people (aka, potential customers). And you have “instant content” for your own website. Win-win.

Again, we’ll get much more into how to further develop that relationship and turn it into actual (and many) business opportunities. But for now, that’s your action item.

Visit this insurance company’s video page here.