In this episode we start with a recap of the last episode and cover the three principles of connection in further detail. Then we look at three different strategies for starting conversations with potential clients.
- As counterinuitive as it may seem, our motive in starting conversations should not be about getting new clients.. After all, you have no way of knowing whether or not you and the individual you’re connecting with are a match for each other! I suggest that your only motive should be being of service.
- Put conscious thought and energy into the conversations you start.
- Take your local region, find interesting businesses / organizations, interview them, and post the interviews on a website you’ve created specifically for your local region.
- Use business lists (local or market specific) and the phonebook to find interesting businesses and connect with them with the purpose, not of selling something, but connecting for the sake of connecting and being of service.
We’ll explore the “Local Interviews” idea itself in a future episode. To get you started now, though, here are some examples of questions you can use in an interview, organized into three categories:
About Their Business
- So tell me about your business.. What do you do?
- How did you get started?
- Ask further questions based on what they say.. e.g. “Oh, that’s really interesting! What inspired you to..”
- What do you enjoy most about the business?
- Look for opportunities to ask additional questions based on what they share..
- What have you found to be the most challenging?
- Are there any mistakes that you’ve made that you’d be willing to share?
- Are there any successes you’re particularly proud of?
- If you were to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently?
About The Region
- Why did you choose [region] as your business base?
- What do you like most about [region]?
About Other Businesses
- What are some of your favorite businesses (besides your own) in the area?
- What do you like most about them?
- What advice do you have for other businesses wanting to start up in [region]?
Next up, introducing yourself to new businesses! First, here’s the format I suggest you follow, particularly when initiating contact via email:
- Introduction – A few short words introducing yourself and giving some context to what you do, particularly as it might relate to them.
- Interest – Something you noticed about them / their business that you’re genuinely interested in.
- Question – A genuine question you have about their business / work they’ve done, etc.
Here’s an example I’ve created:
My name is Jonathan Wold and I’m a business consultant here in North Idaho, specializing in web development / Internet marketing.
I found your business on the list of new businesses in our area and took a look at your website. You have a really interesting line of work! We’ve driven by your llama farm on multiple occasions and my son has been wanting to take a closer look.
Do you offer tours of the farm? Your website didn’t mention anything about it but I figured it would be worth asking!
I look forward to hearing back from you as you’re able!
Last, let’s say you found a business with a website that is clearly broken. Here’s an example email you might send introducing yourself, pointing out the problem, and offering a fix:
My name is Jonathan Wold and I’m a local business consultant / web development specialist.
I came across your website today and I’m really interested in what you do! I’ve been a piano hobbyist for some time now but have been wanting to get more serious about my skills. Are you still taking on new students?
While I was on your site I noticed that the contact form on your “Contact Us” page wasn’t working! You’re using WordPress to manage the site and it looks like you were using a plugin called Contact Form 7 to setup the form. My guess is that the plugin was recently deactivated (perhaps during an attempt to update it) and that would explain why you’re contact page is displaying a shortcode instead of the actual form.
Are you working with someone to manage the website for you or are you doing it yourself?
To get it working again all you or your service provider should have to do is reactivate Contact Form 7. That can be done from the “Plugins” page within WordPress.
If you have any trouble or if I can be of any help in the process please don’t hesitate to let me know!
I look forward to hearing back from you!
And that’s that! I hope those examples are helpful!
Share your questions / thoughts in the comments below or connect with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.