The Area Guide is a hyperlocal marketing platform designed to help professionals build connections. By connections, we mean referral relationships. Anyone in business for any length of time understands the importance of building an expansive network… a sphere of influence. The old adage is true… “it’s not what you know but who you know.” But just knowing someone is not enough. Exponential growth in your business comes from being connected to the right people… the people who are connected with the most people you need to know. More important than that, is not just meeting or knowing someone who is well connected, but building such a strong relationship with that person that they feel confident and comfortable referring business to you.
It sounds easy, but the challenge is two-fold. First, you have to put yourself in the position to meet influential people… connectors in the community. Next, you have to get to know that person, spend time with them in order to earn their trust and more importantly, their referrals. You can’t meet someone at an event, hand them a card and expect them to immediately refer business to you, especially in a competitive industry where they may know dozens of people who do the same thing you do. For example, real estate agents, mortgage professionals, financial advisors, insurance agents… and the list goes on.
Your Best Referral Relationships
As a sponsor of The Area Guide you’re in a fantastic position to introduce and offer something that is of interest to your new connection… more connections and more business. Relationships are built through interactions and conversations… but again this requires the busy professional to give up their time for an undisclosed reward. The question in their mind is “why should I give my time to this person? What do I have to gain?” When you get to spend time with a new connection, what are you most likely to discuss? Most people will talk about their own business which is often the worse possible topic of conversation. But if you ask your new connection about their business you have an open door and will get much more time from them.
The power of this strategy is that you really get to know what is important to your new source of referrals. Learning about their business and what they are looking for in new customers, clients or patients allows you to offer help to them which invokes the Power of Reciprocity. When you give something of value to someone, they naturally feel obligated to return the favor. If you help the businesses connect with more prospects, they are much more likely to do the same for you.
Who are your best referral partners? Your best source of referrals are the businesses and professionals already serving your best prospects… the residents of the communities in your market area. They are in daily contact with your prospects and often hear about activity long before the prospect chooses a provider. The prospect can be heavily influenced by the personal recommendation from a trusted source. Local businesses and professionals also have employees who look to them for advice or share their plans in advance of selecting a provider. Often times, the businesses and area professionals will also need your product or service. It just makes sense to establish, build and strengthen those relationships.
That’s why we created The Area Guide. Unlike major media platforms and websites which attempt to target on the local level, we actually do. We are a grassroots, hyperlocal, community focused platform dedicated to building “community” and strengthening our local economy through meaningful connections. We spotlight the unique elements and characteristics of hundreds of communities and neighborhoods. Our platform is a resource for residents and prospective residents to learn more about the history of their community, the unique stories behind their community and the businesses and business owners dedicated to serving them.
“You can get anything you want in life by helping others get what they want” – Zig Ziglar
Building Connections… Building Communities
The Area Guide is your platform to provide a resource for local residents and prospective residents of our communities get to know and connect with the local businesses serving those communities. You become the local expert, the connector, the influencer. The more you can offer to local businesses, professionals and service providers, the more valuable your connection becomes. The end result is that businesses, professionals and service providers will reach out to you for help in expanding their reach in the community!