As an entrepreneur, the most lucrative way to spark immediate business is to tap into your power base. Your power base is all the people you know and are connected to. “Oh,” you say, “I don’t want to bother my friends and family.” That is ridiculous. If you have a great product or service, you have an obligation to tell your network first and keep telling them.
When I first got into sales, I spent all my time trying to sell people I didn’t know. Then one day, my uncle told me he had purchased the same product I sold from a competitor. When I asked why he didn’t buy it from me he said, “I didn’t know you sold the product.” I swore to myself I would never let this happen again. Leverage your power base — your family and friends — first. This is much more effective than working with strangers.
Make a list of every person you know, starting with the people closest to you. Start with your spouse or partner, then keep going outward to other family, friends, associates, teachers and every person you have ever made contact with. Make your list now and worry about how you will reach them later.
You know the saying, “It takes money to make money,” but this is not true. It takes contacts to make contracts and those contracts will grow your business.
Be a politician. Your everyday routine is a way to capitalize and grow your base. Today I had a meeting with the bank in downtown Miami to talk about refinancing some real estate for me. I shared business cards with everyone I came in contact with, from the guy who parked my car to the receptionist to the president of the bank to the folks at the nearby sandwich shop. I said the same thing to each of them: “If I can ever do anything for you, please give me a call.”
You have to operate like a politician running for office. Make a commitment to be out there shaking hands, handing out cards, making friends, kissing babies and taking interest in everyone you meet.
Become an online socialite. Every day I use social media to get attention, pay attention, ask questions and find people who may be interested in what I am doing. Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn have changed the game. It is now possible for entrepreneurs with no money but a lot of desire and creativity, to not only create a power base, but to become celebrities.
Today I tweeted over 20 times, posted on three different Facebook pages for a total of a dozen posts, responded to a couple dozen comments, wrote two blogs and posted two videos on You Tube.
I keep my eye on trending topics. For example, today when I saw #WhatBrokePeopleSay trending on Twitter, I started banging out related tweets such as: “Money doesn’t make people happy.” It took maybe 30 seconds. Then, about every 15 minutes, I posted new tweets on the topic while working on a book. In a very short period of time, with no cost other than my creativity, I got attention for my brand, engaged with followers, and added new followers to my power base. It’s how I have been able to amass close to 250,000 followers and 226,000 likes on my Facebook page in the last four years. But it takes a willingness to be engaged. In that time, I’ve posted more than 33,000 tweets.
Never quit working your power base. Once you initiate interest and connect or reconnect, don’t quit. I have a prospect who wasn’t quite ready to do business. I had to figure out very creative ways over a period of eight months to stay in contact with him. One month I sent him a report that I thought would interest him, then I sent a video for his staff’s sales meeting, another month I checked in with a text, and also asked if he would contribute to my blog. The next time I called him, I asked: “When are we going to do business? You know I won’t quit until we do.” I still haven’t gotten his business, but I am growing my power base and I won’t quit until he’s a customer.
Light up your power base and keep it lit by turning those you know and meet into screaming fans. Be exceptional in building and growing your power base and you will never be without opportunity.