by Cindy Donaldson
The Power of Masterminds
I learned a very long time ago that cold calling was exhausting and not my thing. Dialing for dollars and knocking on doors hour after hour, day after day, just didn’t do it for me. True, I have very little patience, but I also want to spend my time effectively and efficiently.
I need to get in front of the right people and present solutions to their problems using my services. The key words are right people. So how do I do that without cold calling or spending gazillions on marketing?
I make other people sell for me. I let them be the broad net fisher-people, and I just sit back and wait for the big ole fish to fall into my little boat. It’s all about the myriad of masterminds I’ve connected with over my 30-plus years of selling and connecting.
Here’s how to create your empire:
- Personal brand. This is a priority. You must be able to easily communicate your secret sauce. Referral sources can communicate it to others whom they may refer to you. Make sure you have an engaging bio (not just your resume) on your website and share insight into “you” on your personal and business social feeds. Authenticity and transparency has worked well for me over the years. People know not only who I am, but why I do what I do. (See more on your personal brand here.)
- Public speaking. Nothing builds up your personal brand better than public speaking. This can also include videos and TED-like talks. Make sure you are speaking to your target client profile. If you don’t want to get accountants as clients, don’t be a keynote speaker at a CPA society. Every time I speak to a group, I get a new client or find a new center of influence who is willing to refer business to me — or both. Win!
- LinkedIn. You have to be here if you are in the B2B space. Be sure your profile doesn’t read like a boring resume. People buy from people they can connect with on an emotional level. Use a picture that is professional and engaging and your summary should tell your story. Next, connect with people who can get you in front of your target client profile. Look at who they are connected with — are any of your prospects in their connections? Share great thought provoking-content that is both created and curated. Rinse and repeat on a consistent basis, as in daily.
- Groups and centers of influence. These can be virtual or in-person, but they need to be with the right people – those who completely understand what you do and trust you enough to refer business to you. Don’t waste time on groups that aren’t producing for you. Remember: It’s quid pro quo — you must also trust the others enough to refer business to them. Meet at least monthly and don’t forget to share testimonials of happy client interactions. This will solidify the trust factor.
- Circle of trust. These are close referral sources — friends and business compadres. They know the good, bad and the ugly about you. And you know everything about them. Meet with them bi-monthly, share with them the prospects you are eyeing and see if they have someone in their network who can give you a warm referral.
In the end, it’s all about having a strong personal brand and connecting with the right people. There’s some trial and error and many referral sources will come and go. The secret is to constantly add to the mastermind mixing pot. Yes, you do still have to talk to people and close deals, but having others refer business to you greatly reduces the hours spent knocking on doors and dialing for dollars. In my world, that makes life so much better and happier!