Most tradies have set up their marketing funnels, dialled in their ads, and made themselves visible to their target market – but they often overlook the most lucrative and powerful source of new business…
There are countless opportunities for business growth sitting within your friends list right now that you could be missing out on. Friends will be more responsive, they’re more likely to actually help you, and more likely to expand your network with high-value, easy-to-deal with clients because of your established relationship.
Why not leverage the relationships that already exist?
Cold outreach can be really powerful, but you’re building the relationship from scratch. This can take time. You shouldn’t be relying solely on this. We’re not talking about bringing your mates on as clients – doing business with friends is often a trap, and a recipe for disaster.
This is about leveraging your friends’ networks in order to expand your own.
The beauty of Entourage marketing is that it requires very little time or financial investment, with the potential for absolutely massive rewards. For anyone starting out in business, the reality is that a lot of trade and service based businesses build the foundations of their client base off people they know, and the people they know.
If you were to pick up a business-to-business client off the back of a friend that generates $2500 a month – that’s $30 000 per year in additional revenue from a single conversion.
We’ve developed a system with some crucial communication tools, guidelines, and metrics to make sure you’re tapping into this correctly and getting the most out of your friends list. If you want to learn how to position yourself to capitalise on that network, then buckle up.
The first thing you need to do is…
Filter Your Friends
First, you need to narrow down your friends list.
Filter them by location – you’ll only want to reach out to friends in your service area. Then filter them by their occupation. What do they do for work?
Remember, you want them to help you connect with a business opportunity – it’s not about working for them directly.
The next stage is to filter them by their level of friendship – put them into categories of green, yellow, and red. Put your good friends in green. The yellows are usually acquaintances who wouldn’t be too surprised to hear from you. Red might be someone you haven’t spoken to in many years – perhaps since you worked or went to school with them.
Why is this important?
Your messaging should be tailored to how well you know the person. A red friend will require a more detailed introduction. Once you’ve got your shortlist, you have to…
Find The Connector
The Connector is the key to this process – the person you want your entourage to put you in touch with. It could be a facilities manager, a maintenance manager, a builder, a site foreman, to list just a few examples. Ask yourself; who do you need to speak to about a business opportunity?
Here are some common examples.
If you know a local school-teacher, you could reach out and ask to be connected to the maintenance manager. This is your connector.
If you know a Real Estate agent, or a property manager, this is also a great avenue to potentially acquire a really valuable client. You might need to ask them who’s in charge and get put in contact with whoever is calling the shots – it might be a business development manager.
It actually doesn’t matter what their occupation is – at some point they, or the people they work with, will require your service.
Once you’ve worked out who the connector is, the next step is..
This is a critical step because the way you finetune your messaging will determine whether you get a good response or get ghosted. As we’ve mentioned, the way you craft your outreach will depend on whether your friend is in the green, yellow, or red category.
You’ll want to start with your green contacts and then work through yellow and red. You need to introduce yourself and outline what you want in the outset.
And next – and this is the part where so many tradies go wrong – you really need to drive home how valuable a referral or introduction is to you. Many of the people you contact won’t understand, and therefore won’t respond, unless you stress the importance of referrals to your business.
So you’ve got to make the point that referrals and introductions are a critical part of being able to build your business. Then simply outline exactly what you would like them to do – for example, “would you be able to pass on my contact details to your maintenance manager?”.
If you haven’t yet tapped into your entourage, you will be surprised at how accommodating and powerful your inner-circle is – friends are typically more than happy to help you with your business.
Once you’ve implemented this process, it’s important to have clarity around what you’re investing, and what you’re gaining, through Entourage marketing…
What can you gain?
With this system, most tradies can comfortably get two new customers a month. Each customer will be worth about 30K over the course of the year.
That’s $720 000 worth of new work.
The possibilities are immense.
What do you need to invest?
You’ll typically only need to invest five minutes per friend, and an hour of setup at the front-end of this process – your setup will involve filtering, finding connectors, creating a spreadsheet and possibly developing an automated system to work from.
These are the mechanics of this system. It’s simple, effective, and requires very little investment.
Where are you gonna go wrong?
Simply by not putting the effort in at the front-end – that’s all your preparation before you start sending emails.
If you’ve read through this entire article – what are you waiting for? Start filtering your contacts right now. You got this.