If your approach to developing new business is based only on identifying and approaching prospects, you might need to think about a different public relations strategy so you don't miss out on attracting business to you.
Put simply, attraction is all about undertaking activities that put yourself and your business in front of your audience and then attracting those potential clients, customers, sponsors and donors to you.
What might this public relations strategy look like?
The most obvious methods of attraction are speaking at events where your audience is present and writing articles for publications that your audience will read. Alternatively you can construct your own event or publication where your audience can sample your approach.
The key in all these cases is to talk about issues that your audience faces and the ways they could overcome them. Throw in an example or two of how you have helped other people in a similar situation and you have the basis for attraction.
There are several advantages to this public relations strategy:
They "experience" you
The audience gets to experience you, to get a real sense of your approach and what you’re about which means that…
You attract the right people for you
People like to work with people who see the world as they do. Those who like your approach and share your view of the world will be attracted to you, those who don’t won’t be.
The numbers are in your favour
Approach 100 people and you might get 95 knock backs to find your five clients, speak to the same 100 people at an event and the same five people will be attracted to you without having the 95 knock backs.
You escape the negative reinforcement of the rejection (although you do miss out on the learnings of why someone is not interested in what you have to offer).
You expand your prospect universe by 100%
You attract businesses that you have never heard of. Whilst your competitors are all approaching known prospects, you’re flushing out new businesses that you would have never considered approaching because you were not aware they existed.
You stand out
There may be hundreds of people offering what you offer, this way YOU stand out from the crowd and get noticed.
Differentiation through specialisation
In industries where there is little distinction between product and price offering, it can allow you to be seen as the leader in a specific area. An example from my marketing days at KPMG would be where we invested heavily in time and effort to run a breakfast seminar immediately after the government’s budget to discuss its tax implications for business. This attracted both our clients and our competitor’s clients.
No need to sell - just talk and write
For people who are less comfortable with the idea of selling, the good news is that you don’t have to sell ever again, just talk and write.
You are in the game
Imagine a room full of your prospects listening to one of your competitors speak. A desirable situation? Thought not. Put simply, if you’re not consciously attracting you will not attract anyone. If your competitors are attracting, then they will have that competitive advantage.
My public relations strategy is based on attraction. Is it time consuming? Yes. Is it enjoyable? Yes. Is it rewarding? Absolutely. I challenge you to think of how an attraction approach could be applied to your business …..and then do it!
Richard Woodward works with people who want to attract more business and improve performance. His key focus is ensuring effectiveness in marketing, business development and presentation. This article first appeared on www.flyingsolo.com.au, Australia's online community for solo business owners.