The DFY Lead Factory started in Atlanta, Georgia around the summer 2011 when LeadOutcome completed release 1.0 of its marketing automation system and we now needed customers to buy the system. In other words it is time to start finding customers.
See if you can relate to this. If you today attend networking functions, you really need to read this.
Atlanta, Georgia and it is a great place to start a business. With a large metro city, lots of fortune 500 companies, a population over 6.1 million, I should have no problem finding customers for my business. (6.1 million, wow - that is a lot!) I quickly got out the calculator and computed if I could just convert 1% ,that is 61 thousand customers, and multiply it by my product price… I am sure to be destined to be the next Bill Gates! Wait… wait come back down to Earth, let's put together a strategy for how to find those people that would be a good fit for my offering.
So how would I connect with these people? Networking of course! For the longest time people have told me the best place to find leads is at networking function. Go join your Chamber of Commerce, attend a meet-up, find a local business breakfast where you can meet people and network. I researched hundreds of groups in the Atlanta area. I was so excited!
Now that I joined a few groups, it was time attend these events, like the one above and tell all these business owners that their is finally new all-in-one marketing automation system that everyone can afford.
Sometimes the meetings were small and sometimes the meetings were large, but each time I would enter the room, regardless if there where 10 people or 300 people in the room, I would wonder,
“Who in this room that would be a good fit for my product?”
This proved to be a very important question as you will see later. The only way to find out was to start introducing myself. I worked the room introducing myself and getting to know as many people as I could. I would ask each person questions, listen, looking for ways we relate trying to get to know each person.
With each person the beginning of a new relationship was forming some stronger than others. I would try to limit my conversation to a good 15 minutes, taking a break to snack on the provided appetizers. After a solid 2 hours, I will have connected with about 8 people. The night is coming to a close, and I felt really good about the people that I met. Most people I encountered where really nice, cordial, had interesting backgrounds, and here to accomplish the same thing.
The next week I followed up with the 8 connections I had made, hoping one of them would be a high quality lead. The results where not terrific; while I got to meet a lot of people, we were all interested in meeting again to have coffee, but rarely was there a really good fit for my offering.
I spoke to several networking veterans, the people who had been attending these same events for some time. They would tell me, “if you really want to make this work, you need to do this every week on a consistent basis. Then you will really see some business coming your way."
Seemed reasonable to me. So I took their advice and I attended the networking functions every Thursday.
What I noticed is the same people would be there as well. As I would pass these familiar faces, we would exchange a smile, exchange some pleasantries, but we already new that we did not have mutual opportunities, or worse, one of us thought that and the other did not. Now my thoughts that are running in my head are, “Not him” and just like that I am engaged in a 15 minute conversation that I can not easily eject myself from and the person I really want to connect with just exited the door. “That is ok, I bet he will be back next week” I thought. Next week I got lucky enough and that person I wanted to connect with is there and guess what? I could see the expression on his face, “oh no… not him.”
Can you relate to this? I bet I know the answer to this.
Each week I would attend the next meeting and resulted in relatively few new members. When new people showed up, I felt like there was a frenzy as everyone tried to get their offering in front of this person. Now let's go find some other events and repeat this process on a different day. This resulted in of course the same results.
I thought to myself, "this is a lot of work with very low return
on the investment of my time. There has got to be a better way!"
Now, I am not saying networking functions are not useful. Not at all, but is there not something that can take the good aspects of networking functions and make it even better?
The good news is there is, and this way is exponentially better and I want to share it with you. It is going to blow you away!
The results have completely changed the way I approach finding prospects:
Connected with 8 People
Connected with Hundreds high quality People
Hi, my name is Will Berger and my passion is Internet Marketing. I own an affordable marketing automation company called LeadOutcome, Inc. which was used to build this Done-For-You Lead Factory.