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How to Break Into Cliques


 
How many times has it happened that you've gone to a club/event/concert, seen someone (for example an A&R, vocalist, club owner etc) who you think could really help you with your musical efforts, BUT, never got a chance to get to know them and/or introduce yourself? I'm sure loads...

Networking is a vital part of the music biz and most record labels sign artists based on trusted recommendations. Of course talent is important (and you've got our Rap Beats to get you noticed...) but you also need make sure your demo ends up in the right hands...

Have you ever gone to a networking function and seen THE person who you feel could help you most there, except that person is surrounded by people ALL the time?

Have you ever tried to enter into a conversation with that circle of people, only to have gotten the feeling you were intruding? How do you get an audience with a person who is constantly surrounded by "gatekeepers"? This happens often at gatherings that do not have a structured agenda- in other words in places where open networking is promoted.

Here's an effective approach to meeting the person you want to meet

Watching the people that surround your prospect will tell you a lot about each person's connection to the prospect. There will be people who are there as casual acquaintances, and others who have strong ties to your prospect. The ones with the stronger ties are usually the most helpful in accomplishing your goal of meeting this person. They have already built a relationship with your prospect and can now help you begin to build one as well.

Sooner or later, one of the people who has a strong tie with your prospect, will leave that group. They will head for food, drinks, or a restroom. This is your opportunity to speak with this person away from the group. Once separated from the group, these people are usually very friendly and helpful, even though they were very protective of their "space" when in the group.

Be prepared with a casual non-threatening comment about the weather, the food, the attendance, or anything else that is appropriate for that gathering. You will usually get a positive response to comments of this general variety. Also, be prepared to request an introduction to the person you wish to meet. Something like, "I see you know Mr. Magoo. I wonder if you would mind introducing me to him? I would be interested in finding out more about what he does. I might be able to refer some work his way in the future".

Notice that this request is to meet Mr. Magoo so that you might refer him some business and not the other way around. You must really want to help Mr. Magoo, too, or you won't sound sincere.

You have just told this person that you want to help their friend, Mr. Magoo. You haven't said that you want Mr. Magoo's help. Until you build a relationship with Mr. Magoo, you probably won't get his help. The first step to building that relationship, is getting that introduction. Mr. Magoo's friend has an opportunity to bring you and Mr. Magoo together, and Mr. Magoo could benefit. This is a win- win situation. This is the beginning of building a relationship that will be mutually beneficial. Giving before receiving- it works every time.

And now that you've been introduced...how do you make yourself stand out?

Once you have the attention of a business prospect, at some point in the conversation, the prospect will ask you, "So what do you do?". In most cases, you will only have 60 seconds, to catch the interest of the prospect. Therefore, your response to this questions needs to be specific enough to tell what you do, but interesting enough for the prospect to ask for more information.

Here is where "bullets" about your business come in handy. Bullets are short statements about your firm that highlight a specific product, service or attribute about what you do. If these bullets highlight something unique to your firm, they are even more effective as attention-getters.

Let's say you work in the field of Insurance. An intro may be, "By careful planning, I protect people's assets". This intro says what you do (careful planning) and what the prospect gets because of it (asset protection). This got the attention of the prospect by telling them "what's in it for them" and highlights a specific service that you offer. Another example would be an Accountant. An Accountant, once asked- "what do you do?", might respond with " I help keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket, instead of in the IRS's pocket". That would prompt the next question- "How do you do that?".

It is not suggested that the intro response be so long and detailed that the prospect tries to get out of the conversation from sheer boredom. You know more about what you do than your prospect needs to know at this first presentation.

When an intro is effective, it will lead a prospect into asking more questions. When a prospect asks a question, you will usually have their attention long enough to hear the answer. That answer, properly worded will lead to more questions.

By Nancy Roebke

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