Thursday, December 9, 2010

How to Grow Your Sales: The Target 25

Yesterday, I interviewed speaker and author Mark LeBlanc, on how to grow your service business with a "defining statement."

Today, here's part two of my three-part interview ...

Kevin Donlin: Let's look at your Target 25 concept -- talking on a regular basis to 25 people who can make a difference in your business. Could you expand on that idea?

Mark LeBlanc: It is my advocate strategy, and every one of us has a group of people who believe in us and our work. I call them our advocates. A couple of other terms are cheerleaders and champions. Who believes in you and your work?

I call it the Target 25 Strategy and it’s really very simple. You just identify the 25 advocates in your life and work who are in a position to impact your business, and then you create an every 30-day connection with them simply to maintain “top of mind presence.” Not to ask them for referrals but just simply to create “top of mind presence.”

If these are the people who believe in you and your work and are most likely to go out of their way, or make a positive connection, or open a door on your behalf, they're more likely to do it with “top of mind presence.”

Time goes by so fast that all of a sudden 10 months or three years goes by and you think, “Where are those people who used to give me referrals?”

Kevin: That's a tremendous idea because repeated contacts are what increase sales. It may not be today that I can refer someone to you but in six months, Bam! I may hit you on the right day. It can’t happen if you’re just spinning your Rolodex and picking out names at random. It has to be systematic.

You mentioned that 25 is a good number of contacts. Well, 50 might be better, 100 would be best. Why do you limit it to 25?

Mark: I think once you start going beyond 25 it gets harder to manage these people on a regular basis, and then it just becomes diluted with what I call “supporters.”

I’m very blessed to have hundreds of supporters in my work but that group of advocates is a little bit smaller, and I would rather stay connected with them every 30 days.

Now, the sort of graduate school level of the advocate strategy is that you begin to put together a different advocate group if you have different profit centers.

For example, I have a coaching Target 25 group, and I also have a speaking Target 25 group of advocates. They’re two different groups of advocates that refer me or believe in me for different ways in which I deliver my work.

Kevin: Good, that gives people an "out" if they are just compelled to get in touch with more than 25. Breaking them down by profit centers is an excellent way to keep everything straight in your mind.

Come back tomorrow for LeBlanc’s tips on year-end planning that can help you year-round ...

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