How much is your address book worth? I know that seems like a silly question because very few people even have a little black book that contains all of their contacts’ phone numbers and addresses.
I can remember when my father had a sturdy metal rolodex sitting on his office desk that contained all of his priceless contact numbers. I would sit at his desk and spin the cards around like I was a contestant on “The Price is Right.”
Fast forward 25 years and now we carry our cell phones, which have instant access to our address book, CRM, LinkedIn and other network applications and can easily connect you with millions of people around the world instantly.
As part of my research and training, I read a series of books on the subject of lead generation through strategic connections with people. I followed the advice and directions that I read in the books and was able to connect with two best-selling authors and set up a phone conversation with them about their methods and principles.
Here’s an introduction to those two authors and their responses to a few of the most common questions our researchers at MECLABS Institute are being asked regarding B2B Marketing:
Judy Robinett is the author of How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+150 Rule (McGraw-Hill, May 2014), a book that provides instant, effective strategies for meeting the people you need to know and bonding with them fast to further both your goals and theirs.
Judy is a business thought leader who is known as “the woman with the titanium digital Rolodex.” She has been profiled in Fast Company, Forbes, Venture Beat, Huffington Post and Bloomberg Businessweek as a sterling example of the new breed of “super connectors” who use their experience and networks to accelerate growth and enhance profitability.
Sohail Khan is the author of Guerrilla Marketing and Joint Ventures: Million Dollar Partnering Strategies for Growing ANY Business in ANY Economy (Morgan James Publishing, Nov. 2014), a book that explains a step-by-step guide on how marketers can set up and use joint ventures to help your business grow.
Sohail is the world’s premier “joint venture expert” as featured in Entreprenuer.com, Fox Business, CNN and CBS. He’s also the creator of the “Million Dollar Partnering System,” a well as being a sought-after business growth speaker, coach and author. Sohail works with corporate, business and educational establishments worldwide.
B2B Lead Roundtable: Whether the marketer is working with a startup or for a Fortune 500 company, there always seems to be budget limitations for marketing. As a B2B Marketer with tight constraints on time and money, should we invest in networking at events and associations?
Judy Robinett: A power connector focuses on being in the “right room.” If you are able to invest in networking at events and associations, be strategic about investing in the ones that your future customers are involved in. Most people attend the same events with their friends and wonder why they never get any new business or quality referrals. Research your customers and find out where they network, and then do the same.
Sohail Khan: Guerrilla marketing is not about having the biggest budget or the largest marketing department; it’s about achieving success using unconventional means. There are free digital groups you can join such as LinkedIn Groups and Twitter that allow you to get really close to your targeted prospects.
B2B: How do I know if I need to expand the size of my current network?
JR: It is more important to have the right people in your network than to have a huge network. I learned this principle when I lived in a very small town. Between the people I worked with, my neighbor who was a state legislator and other volunteers I served with, I found myself being able to connect with any resource opportunity I needed. I focus on making sure my network of people expands wide across various industries and geographic locations and filled with people of influence and power that we have mutual trust.
B2B: What is a strategy you use for connecting with a decision maker if you have never had contact with them before?
SK: I will give something of value far before ever asking for anything in return. For example, I have given away my books, one of my training courses which sell for about $500 and I have also trained a company’s business development team “Joint Venture Strategies” for free in order to gain trust with large clients. I believe in the law or principle of reciprocity when prospecting. For the most part, people respond to kindness with kindness. Once I have given value, there is no longer need for a “cold call.” From then on, my interactions with the people I have served are warm and friendly.
B2B: What are some unique tools you use to connect with build relationships (other than phone, email, and LinkedIn)?
JR: I was introduced one day to the co-founder of the ACT! Software, which was amongst the first in CRM available. He co-founded a new CRM tool called Vipor CRM, which I use to track and manage my connections.
SK: I use Twitter to connect with people. A recent statistic said that there are over 750 tweets delivered every second. It is a great place to generate a response and engage with people.
B2B: Why is it so important to become a “Power Connector” like your book describes?
JR: Nothing happens in this life without people being involved. The old networking model was transactional; it was based on who you know and what you know. The world has shifted to a relationship model based on who knows you, likes you and trusts you. At the end of the day, you want to be connected to people who have your back and will lift your future.
B2B: Why should a company consider a joint venture or strategic alliance?
SK: The joint venture or strategic alliance is set up to be a mutually beneficial arrangement for all parties involved. A company can contribute areas of strengths in return for another company compensating for areas where there may be gaps in resources or abilities. The goals for strategic alliances can be for cost-saving initiatives or revenue-generating campaigns. When joint ventures are organized and managed correctly, you can minimize risks and leverage rewards. That is a win-win situation.
In my conversations with both Judy and Sohail, the most important principles are this: connect with the right people and add tremendous value to them.
“People don’t buy from websites; people buy from people” — Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS (parent company of B2B Lead Roundtable)
If you would like to know more about Judy or Sohail’s books, you can visit them at the links below.
Judy — How to Be a Power Connector
Each week MarketingSherpa features a book giveaway. This week includes both of the books referenced in this post. Check the MarketingSherpa Book Giveaway and sign up for a chance to win a copy of these books.
You can follow Josh Wilson, Content Writer, MECLABS Institute on Twitter at @TheVillagePush.
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