Right now … RIGHT FREAKIN’ NOW!! … there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people here in the Denver Metro area who are actively looking for exactly what you are selling. This is a fact. Let that fact sink in for a minute.

Not only that, tomorrow … and the next day … and the day after that … there will be several new people who will join the hunt for what you are selling.

This truth is exciting and is what gives us hope.

The problem? You don’t have any idea who 99.9% of these people are who are who are looking for what you’re selling. You can’t be everywhere, knowing what everyone is thinking. If you could always know who these people were, how easy would your business life be?!

This is where Marketing steps in.

The Gold Standard in good marketing is to be there with a compelling message right at that moment when a person decides they need something like what you are selling.

This is why effective networking can be such great way to market what you’re selling.

With a great professional network, instead of being in one place at one time you can effectively be in fifty, or a hundred, or even a thousand or more places at one time! They can be your eyes and ears on the market.

My dad was a Piano Tuner. His “magic marketing moment” was when someone realized their piano sounded horribly out of tune and had a reason to get it back in tune. On any given day, there were undoubtedly hundreds of people in the area where he lived having that “magic moment.” The only question was: Which piano tuner would those people hear about first as having a solution to their problem?

It took him a while, but eventually his phone rang off the hook with people he had never heard of calling him who had been referred to him. At some point he never had to make a cold call ever again. If I had to guess, I would say my dad had well over 1,000 people willing to give a referral if his need ever popped up in a conversation.

Don’t we ALL want to get to that point … yesterday?

Well, this concept is great … in theory.

But here’s the million dollar question: When people in your professional network hear the magic words from someone looking for what you’re selling, will the people in your network actually say something? And if they do say something, will they recommend you instead of someone else?

If you can say yes to both of those questions about someone, you have a REAL member of your professional network. This is someone for whom you are both “top of mind” and “first choice” when one of your ideal customers crosses their path. If someone you know isn’t willing to speak up and recommend you to someone looking for what you’re selling, can you really count them as part of your professional network?

It is an enlightening exercise to make a list of people for whom you are, without a doubt, Top of Mind and First Choice.

How do you EARN the right to be Top of Mind and First Choice with someone?

Here are three thoughts on how to earn the pole position in your network’s mind …

1. There are two types of people who will give a referral about you and your product/service:

a. Those who have purchased and used what you are selling … and really liked it.

b. Those who have not purchased what you are selling … but really like YOU. Being “surprisingly helpful” is the best way to get to that point fast.

2. Your professional network has to be very clear about the pain you are solving. The simpler, the better. (E.g. “My piano is out of tune and I want it back in tune.”)

3. Your professional network needs to know that you really want and appreciate referrals. You do that by asking for referrals and then ALWAYS expressing genuine appreciation after receiving a referral.

What do you think of the idea of being “Top of Mind” and “First Choice” with your professional network?

What are some ways you’ve found to earn the “pole position” in the minds and hearts of your professional network?