Building Influence Means Building Sales

You may have wonderful ideas for products and services and you may have worked hard to set up a great small business website. Perhaps you’re networking and trying really hard to get people interested in what you do. However if the results have been disappointing or a bit slow, it’s not the economy. The problem is more likely that you haven’t built your sphere of influence.

Building your sphere of influence is like fishing with a net—okay I’ve never fished with a net, but I have a good imagination! If you fish with a pole you catch just one fish. You can move your boat and cast the pole again and maybe catch another fish. But you’ll only have two fish. If you cast a net just once, you could end up with a boatload of fish that will feed many people.

If you are struggling to get enough clients, most likely you haven’t gathered enough fish in your prospect net from which to cultivate clients, or you just aren’t promoting your services often enough. Or both. Let’s look at how casting your net widely can influence the results you get.

Your ultimate net is your e-mail list. This is your biggest asset. But you can also build a network of fans and followers in other ways. If you create a product or program and you can only introduce it to 100 people because that is the number of fans, followers and subscribers you have, you can imagine how hard it will be to make money since the average conversion rate is around 2% to 3%. But if you had, say 2000 subscribers, 200 members of a social media group that you created, and another 2000 followers on Facebook and Linked In, although this is not huge, your sales would be significantly more IF you have built a solid relationship with those people.

This is why a significant amount of time every week needs to be dedicated to attracting traffic, subscribers, followers and fans and following up with them to build a trusting relations. Much of this can be outsourced but if either element is missing—attraction and nurturing—your sphere of influence will not grow.

Now let’s talk about the crucial importance of nurturing and building relationships with these people. Just accumulating names like trophies won’t get you far. People want to know you care about them and their success. So it’s important that you decide ahead of time what will happen on the back end once people begin to follow you. How will you prove to them that you are a valuable expert? How will you show them that you can get results? How can you gently build excitement with them about your products or programs? Decide ahead of time so you are set to go once people find you.

You may not realize this, but your most important job is promoting your business and building your sphere of influence. No matter how outstanding you are at what you do, if no one knows about you, you won’t be able to share your talents and make money doing so. Think about how you spend each day. Are you spending too much time researching, perfecting, pondering, responding to e-mails, or just unfocused or overwhelmed? Re-focus your time on building your sphere of influence and start offering product, programs and services to these new fans. They don’t have to be perfect. They just have to help and people will be happy they found you.

Actively working on attracting followers and nurturing the relationship–these two strategies alone can quite literally double your sales. Turn this into a rinse and repeat system and you will be able to stop worrying about how to get new clients.

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