Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Last week I spoke of the importance of making the purchasing process easy for potential customers. Technology and time is something we all seem to have more of these days. And if you are ready to scratch the game-plan or perhaps even start a new business, there are three resources I recommend you look at, especially if you have overlooked them in the past.
Three resources I always look to when upgrading anything about customer service or acquisition are: Search engines, young people, and doers.
Here they are in no particular order and, chances are, you will want to use two or all three to find an answer.
We all know the importance of getting ranked on Google. But do you?
Cold calling is less and less effective. References can provide the highest conversion from a potential customer to an actual customer. But how many leads are you missing out on by not being on the first page of google? Your first research assignment is to type into google, "How important is being on the first page of Google?" But before you do that, let me convince you to stick around first.
All of these can be no-brainers, but if you take the time to understand how they all work, it can change your business and life.
One deceptive thing about both age and success is that the more you have, the more you think you know how things work. Of course, you want to have core values and principles to build on, but when it comes to running a successful business and supporting yourself for another 20-30-40 years, you will need some help. Children, young adults, and twenty-somethings seem to have a natural ability to learn much more quickly and without fear. Because they are not afraid to get it wrong, they attempt more challenges. And because they do not know the old way of doing things, they only have the present and the future with no distractions from the past.
Youthfulness can be a blessing and a curse, but I challenge you to be curious. When a younger person talks about or is doing something you might think is related to a question you have, ask it with genuine curiosity. I understand that this can be a hard task, even an intimidating one to ask a younger person for advice. I promise it will pay off if you use your questions wisely. The fact that you might be afraid is also the very reason you should be asking more questions. Young people aren't always used to getting respect and from an elder, but connection means a lot to all of us.
Tip: No matter what the first question is, a good second question is, "How would I learn more about that?" If the person gives a short or blasé answer, thank them, and you have your answer. You may want to think about developing a relationship with that person if the person responds with enthusiasm. Synergy is the most exceptional gas pedal for any business.
Most people seem to hesitate when approaching doers. It is why so many $97, $297 and $1,997 online courses are available from these doers. The access is secure, and there is no intimidation about travel, presentation, time, etc. Those courses are excellent. You can learn very general or concentrated information in a short amount of time. What happens when you reach out to these small or big-time experts for a specific purpose or question? Even if it is someone local whom you admire for her/his ability to do a job well, approaching a mutually beneficial and potentially synergistic relationship should warrant some time, attention, and enthusiasm.
So, how do you approach these people? It is not as hard as you imagine. Most people have at least one digital outlet in which they participate. There are several ways to figure out the best way to ask someone a question, and the first may be the resource on which you first digested their information.
1) How did you first find out about this person?
The platform or method in which you first discovered this person might have provided resources or links.
2) Check to see if they have a website.
Use google to see if there is an official website. Most all sites have links to social media networks or perhaps contact forms.
3) Social Media Networks
Whether you already follow this person or are taken to their social media accounts through their website, find the most active network for him/her and write them a private message.
4) Ask for an interview
Many people are happy to accept an interview request (even a zoom or phone call). If you provide them the 6 - 10 questions you want to ask along with a request for 20-30 minutes of their day, you'll be surprised at the quality information you can obtain in a short amount of time. Make sure you can share their knowledge and offer reciprocation or exposure for their time.
5) Write them a letter.
Handwritten letters are considered a thing of the past, but the time and thought required to write a genuine letter are almost always appreciated.
No matter your first step, the most important thing to understand is that you are asking for her/his time, and you should be gracious and respectful in your requests. If they do not reciprocate your respect, that is fine. You either have your answer or can cross a potential relationship off the list. Who knows? You might have planted a seed for future relationships, even if that seed is a single email and response.
If you meet a young person who is technologically savvy in ways that could propel your company and she/he has the attitude of a doer, synergy and appreciation could be your next steps.
Search engines, young people, and doers.
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