In this fast paced Web 3.0 world, there are some time proven strategies that are even easier to implement now than they were back when an eight-track player was state of the art technology. People who take the time to learn about their prospects, clients, referral sources and networking partners win over the people who don’t. Only every time.
For years I’ve been telling my audiences to learn about The Mackay 66. Harvey Mackay is the owner of an envelope company and he’s always taught his salespeople to use what he calls “The Mackay 66”. It’s a simple questionnaire that you populate over time as you learn more about your prospects and clients. Everything from where they went to school to what status symbols are in their office to their favorite drink. Here’s a downloadable PDF of The Mackay 66: http://www.harveymackay.com/pdfs/mackay66.pdf
Gathering this information is doing your due diligence. You would never sit someone down and interrogate them to gather this information, but if you have good questioning and listing skills you can learn a lot. Your competitors probably aren’t gathering this information. They’re too busy talking about their product or service’s features and benefits. The best salespeople don’t sell with their mouths, they sell with their ears. The best daters, too.
I still tell my audiences to familiarize themselves with The Mackay 66, but by utilizing Social Networking effectively you can gather this information in a fraction of the time it would have taken you to gather it back when Dallas was the top show on television. By having a profile on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, you now have access to unbelievable amounts of information regarding the people you do business with. Let’s clarify that we’re not talking about stalking here. Stalking is when someone is trying to gather private information about you that you don’t want them to know.
By definition, “Social” Networking sites are “social.” Let’s also agree that common sense is the most uncommon thing in the universe. So I suggest that if you’re having doubts about whether to put something on one of your Social Networking profiles, that’s probably an indication that you shouldn’t. So, whatever information someone has on their profile is public information. Professionals use this information to help their prospects and clients, not spam or stalk their prospects and clients.
Taking the time to learn about where someone went to school, their outside work interests and other pertinent information is actually a show of respect. Not gathering this information and spamming the crap out of people is not a show a respect. This separates the professionals from the amateurs. Just because someone has a Snap-On tool set doesn’t mean they are a master mechanic. Learning about people greatly increases your likeability and “like-ability.” By like-ability, I’m referring to your ability to learn to appreciate the person and by extension, like them.
As you like people, you naturally want to help them and add value to their business and personal lives. This separates the professionals from the amateurs. The professional understands that success is always built on relationships. Therefore, the professional is always searching for ways to build and enhance relationships. And this is what I call Appreciation Marketing. Add value to people all the time. All things being equal, people do business with and refer business to people they know, like, and trust. Learn about them and become a person who when you call or email them gets a reply because you’ve build a Know, Like, Trust relationship.
The real test is after a business transaction has taken place. If you’re still friends with this person years down the road, you’ve done something that very, very few people have done. You have built a relationship. Relationships are not transactional in nature. Use The Mackay 66 to learn about people and to add value to their lives. It is a very simple but very effective Appreciation Marketing strategy.
While its true that sometime people focus on relationships too much and forget the marketing – don’t forget – relationship marketing is still about building long term relationships. It is about keeping people around long enough so that you can beg for money until pigs fly – not just once and then have them get sick of you and never talk to you again.
Thanks for your thoughts, Marilyn! It’s always about relationships, yes?