Influence to create sustainable networks
When I joined an international organisation focused on community service, the advice I like all new members got was, “Do not ask members for business. Just remember, it will come because people do business with those they know and trust”.
Members were given 3 copies each of a pocket sized club directory with names and phone numbers for the office, home and a third place for easy access. Today the club directory is online with easy access on a smart phone.
Club members are encouraged to visit other clubs in the city or outside to grow their social network. This form of social networking has all the ingredients that new industries utilize to grow the sector within communities.
In the early days Silicon Valley helped to concentrate information technology engineers and entrepreneurs into a social network. They innovated and created new products that were initially used within the academic community. Later the market expanded to businesses, schools and ultimately the wider community that has a need to create content for personal use and communication to others.
The Power of Influence
Be an authentic provider of information and gain influence in the community. Focus on the benefits you provide to influence people so they buy from you.
Information Technology (IT) tapped into the innate social communication desires of consumers. The social media market is growing because it fulfils these desires. Each stage of growth in IT has been embraced by consumers due to the benefits offered. This consumer embrace has given IT based businesses tremendous influence amongst consumers.
Online platforms in transport, hospitality and business connections are succeeding because of the benefits offered.
Be a trusted source by providing maximum information to consumers online, at networking meets and at events. The more information you give to a person, the greater the probability of that person buying from you.
Create Positive Perceptions
Recently a farmer told an audience that he could get 3 times the price for his organically grown crops. This was due to demand built on a consumer perception of benefits in improved health and wellbeing.
The chef at a local diner in the North East of the city explained that his meals were so tasty because the diner bought fruits and vegetables from a local farm that used natural farming methods. The burst of flavours from produce grown in the rich prairie soil and harvested fresh is simply amazing.
Many operators of such farms and diners are highly networked online and at industry meets. The review and dissemination of research data and produce information through magazines, blogs and social platforms is well organised.
All this dissemination of information and the discussions that follow have created a positive perception of organic produce and natural foods amongst the wider public. Shops and restaurants that have succeeded in embracing this healthy food culture have found loyal consumers who are willing to pay premium pricing for great flavours and good health. “Paying the local farmer now is cheaper than paying for medical treatment later”, is a popular refrain of healthy living advocates.
Positive perceptions can lead to sustainable high growth. Research your area of business well. Disseminate authentic information to the community and create a positive perception. This can influences the buy decision.
International Business Consultant
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