When you face a challenge in your business, do you immediately seek out a tactical solution?
Or do you first look at the strategy to see if you’re using the right one?
Confused yet? Allow me to explain.
First – let’s take a quick look at the terms, then we’ll put this all together for you.
For strategy, the dictionary says: a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.
Under tactics, you’ll find: action, task, procedure, and maneuvers.
Strategies become the plan to accomplish a goal.
Tactics become the actions one takes to implement the strategy, while not violating the overarching principle(s) at play.
The Big Mistake!
One of the biggest mistakes made by financial professionals (and everyone else in the business word), is that when they aren’t getting the results they want, they immediately look for a tactical answer. “What new action can I take that will produce the result I want?” “We need to send more emails.” “We need more social media posts.”
Here’s the big problem with that way of thinking. If the actions you are taking are guided by a flawed strategy, then your actions will be less effective, if effective at all.
“I think I know what you’re trying to say here, Bill. But can you tell me how I can apply this distinction in my business, or are we going to stay in the clouds on this one?”
Thank you for asking! Let’s bring this to life with a couple of examples.
Strategy – Promote introductions.
Tactic – Use the expression “Don’t Keep Me a Secret.”
Strategy – Ask for introductions.
Tactic – Use Bill Cates’ V.I.P.S. Method for Asking™
Strategy – Have my clients introduce me using email.
Tactic– Use Bill Cates’ electronic handshake method.
4 Core Strategies to Follow in Your Efforts to Create Effective Introductions
Below are four strategies and corresponding tactics you want to keep in mind at all times as you turn a client’s or center of influence’s willingness to connect you with an actual connection.
Since referrals are pretty much worthless until we get introduced – connected – to the new prospect, I’ve chosen the overarching strategy of using introductions and broken it into four sub-strategies, along with a tactical way to implement that strategy.
#1 – Be assumptive for the introduction. I don’t believe you should ever assume someone is willing to give you referrals; that’s too aggressive. However, once your client is open to recommending you to one or more people, you should assume that an introduction will be created.
Tactic: George, let’s discuss the best way for you to introduce me to Laura. OR George, I suspect Laura would prefer to hear from you, before she here’s from me. I have a very efficient way to do this that I think you’ll find comfortable.
#2 – Make it about protecting the relationships. Probably more than anything else, your clients and centers of influence want to protect their relationships. They want an introduction that feels safe to all parties concerned. It needs to fit the relationship and the personalities. Don’t force a particular style onto other people.
Tactic: George, when you think of someone you believe should know about the important work I do, let’s discuss the best way to make that introduction. I want this process to feel comfortable to everyone involved.
#3 – Make this a collaborative process. In your effort to make this process feel comfortable and safe, you don’t want to lose the chance of it also being effective. In fact, you can even say to your introducer:
Tactic: George, when you think of someone you believe should know about the important work I do, let’s work together to find the best way to make that introduction. First, I want this process to feel comfortable to everyone involved. Second, if we’re lucky, we can spark their interest in hearing from me.
#4 – Take your time. Don’t rush. Learn about your prospect. The more you learn about the prospect, the more relevant you can make the client’s introduction, as well as your follow up to that introduction. If you legitimately run out of time in a meeting, finish up over the phone later that day or the next day. Slow down. Be confident. Get connected in an effective manner.
Tactic: George, before you make this email introduction to Laura, I’d like to learn a few more things about her – so we can create a relevant introduction, as well as my follow up to that. I know we’re out of time right now. May we schedule a 10-minute call to finish up this conversation?
When you work in collaboration with your referral source to learn about the prospect you’ll come up with the most relevant approach and message that will significantly increase your chances of a solid connection that leads to an appointment and that eventually leads to a new client.