The ‘Know, Like, Trust’ Factor
I wanna tell you a story. New to running her own business, our heroine plucked up the courage to attend a business networking event that she’d never been to before. It was a well-established networking group that took place monthly in a large major city in the Midlands.
Running a little late due to poor weather and rush-hour traffic, she walked into the room to what felt like a sea of people chatting and laughing animatedly. She went straight to the coffee station so that she looked like she knew what she was doing and belonged in that environment.
As she poured her coffee, another woman smiled and struck up a conversation about the bad weather. They continued to chat, finding lots of common ground and from there, they promised to meet up again for a coffee.
Unfortunately, they didn’t meet for a coffee, but over the months, they did keep in touch via social media, liking and commenting on each other’s posts.
You will have guessed that the story is about me nervously putting myself out there as a new business owner. The best part of the story is that as a result of this relationship, I have just landed the biggest piece of work since starting my business.
My blogs throughout this year have touched on all forms of marketing from Knowing Your Why, through to the consequences of marketing without a clear strategy. But there is one area of marketing I haven’t touched on and that is networking, which should form part of your marketing strategy.
Remember, be mindful; this is where you can be caught out if your online persona does not match the real you.
The ‘Know, Like and Trust’ Factor.
Thankfully, business networking is not merely approaching every new person you meet with some line about how great your product or service is while simultaneously slapping a business card into their hand and uttering clever one-liners. (We’ve all met that person haven’t we).
Networking can be defined as “The cultivating of mutually beneficial, give and take relationships.” The focus here is on the “give” part.
When done with a genuine interest in the other person’s wants and needs, you can truly accelerate both your direct and referral business.
“All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust.”
Put simply, if two individuals have the same size businesses offering similar products/services, at a similar price and with similar expertise, it’s the person who has successfully created the “know, like and trust” relationship that is more likely to win the business.
Successful businesses have become more relationship-oriented; the personal connection. People are more likely to do business when they feel a genuine connection, and who can blame them? After all, the trust factor between human beings is probably at an all-time low right now.
Prospects are worried about being scammed, taken advantage of, or just not treated right. They want to do business with someone they know, like and trust. And, don’t forget, if they know, like and trust you, they are much more likely to refer you to their business network.
So, remember these few points when you are next at a business networking event:
- Be interested (and interesting)
- Build the relationship and continue the communication after the event
- Share useful and relevant information
- And Be Nice!
Reproduced courtesy of Made Magazine, www.madeinn.co.uk. Made is bi-monthly lifestyle magazine covering the North Notts region’s events, news and features, showcasing the most compelling people, travel, outdoor pursuits, food, culture and style.