If you want more sales, you need to have influence. So one of your goals in your marketing should be finding ways to build influence, turning it from an intangible asset into more money for your business.
Here are a few tips on how to wield the power of influence to make more profits.
- Build Your Network of Contacts. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or a high-end consultant, a Fortune 500 CEO or a programmer looking for a job, your contacts are everything. Be active about cultivating your network. Go to minglers, seminars as well as events online and get to know the players in the industry. This is where social media can truly come in handy! Just remember to seek to build real relationships. It’s not about building acquaintances, but building real friendships with people.
- Help Others First and Trust That It’ll Come Back. What good will come of having lunch with someone you met to help them with their business? Quite possibly nothing. But it’s also quite possible that he or she will know someone who can help you in your business, and their glowing testimonial for your character is just what you need to get your foot in the door. The business community is a cycle of give and take. Those who are generous about sharing their ideas, their time and their contacts often find the same kindness returned. Be the person who helps others. You might not see the benefits right away, but the goodwill you build up.
- Sell without Selling. Many people feel that selling damages their relationships and weakens relationships. When done properly, however, selling can do just the opposite. If you view selling as trying to force someone into a decision on something they either don’t want or aren’t sure they want, then selling will indeed damage the relationship. However, if selling is done right, it should be a match of win-win situations. A good sales process should be more about discovering what the other person wants and creating a tailor-fitted product or service for them, than trying old-fashioned hard-closing techniques.
This is especially true if you want to build your influence and bring in more sales in the future. Build a reputation for helping people, not taking their money. Do this consistently, and your reputation and influence will increase accordingly.