Where are You in the Hierarchy?

By , Business Growth & Marketing Expert

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

Sandra P. Martini - Business Growth & Marketing Expert

Click here to listen… There is what I call a “Hierarchy of Connection” – the higher the level of your connection, the more credibility you have and the more likely prospects are to turn into clients and refer others to you – think of this as the “know, like and trust” factor you hear so much about.

Each experience of you creates a different level of connection as described below:

   1. NO Name Recognition — People have never heard of you/have no idea who you are or what results you provide.
   2. Vague Recollection — People hear your name and have a vague recollection of having heard it somewhere before, but are fuzzy about the details.
   3. Recognition — People recognize your name and have either heard or read about you at some point. If asked about you, they agree to knowing “something” about you.
   4. Know — People feel they’ve come in contact with you “somehow” – usually through something you’ve written, a networking event you both attended (though you didn’t ever actually meet) or through someone else who knows you.
   5. Know AND Like — People feel they “know” you and will recommend you to others based on hearing your voice — assuming, of course, that they’ve had a good experience in dealing with you/your team. They’ve created a connection with you as a result of hearing your voice.
   6. Relationship/Trust — People feel they have a relationship with you as the result of an “in person” meeting/connection.

Think of it as a pyramid with most people being in Level 1 and increasingly smaller amounts being in each Level as you move closer to the top.

Now that we know the different levels, how do you quickly jump to Levels 5 and 6?

Honestly, there is no magic pill. You must consistently do what some may feel are “ordinary” or even “boring” things in order to build credibility in the minds of your prospects. I’m going to share 4 such strategies which have been instrumental to my success:

   1. Send out a newsletter consistently and continuously grow your list — if you’re not consistent, you may as well not do it at all as it begs the question if you can’t be consistent with your own business, how will you treat mine if I’m a client?
   2. Include your picture in your newsletter, on your business card and on your website so you’re not simply words on a screen.
   3. Incorporate audio in your newsletter and on your website to introduce people to the sound of your voice — you become more *real* for them.
   4. Regularly hold — and promote — teleseminars and provide your participants with informative and valuable content to gain increased exposure and credibility.

It’s business systems like these (YES, these ARE “systems”) which ensure you’re consistent in your marketing, team leadership and client/prospect relations. . .and that consistency leads to more clients more often, and for longer periods of time.

Your Challenge

If you’re not sending out a newsletter, at least once each month EVERY month, I’m asking you to pick a date by when you will start — even if that “newsletter” is a simple three sentence quick tip and your list consists of your friends and family. It’s not quantity, it’s quality and it’s consistency!

If you are sending out a newsletter, is your picture somewhere in every issue? Are you recording your feature article and including audio in every issue? How can you build more connection with your readers, and it doesn’t have to be about sharing your entire personal life?

The important thing is to start from where you are and take one step forward every day. . .

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? Please do! Feel free to reprint any article or tip on your website, newsletter or message boards. Please write: Leading small business expert Sandra Martini is the “Automatic Business Coach.” Sandra delivers simple proven, yet innovative, ways entrepreneurs can implement processes and systems to create a waiting list of clients while giving them more money, time, and freedom in their businesses. For free articles, free resources and to sign up for her free audio mini-seminar “5 Quick & Easy Ways to Put Your Marketing on Autopilot” visit www.SandraMartini.com.

Creator of Escalator Marketing, Sandra Martini specializes in showing small business owners how to create a business with multiple streams of revenue while living their lives.  Known for her "tell it like it is" yet nurturing approach, Sandy's clients benefit from her over 20 years in the start-up and marketing fields.

© Copyright 2008 Sandra P. Martini

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