Communicating is one of the most powerful marketing strategies we’ve found.
The problem is that people tend to think that communication means blasting information to everyone you’ve ever met, might meet, and who has a pulse in the hopes that somebody, anybody, might want to do business with them.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Imagine a strategy that allows you to tap into the potential of your existing network and generate a steady stream of leads.
Well, get ready to unlock the power of the 250×250 strategy, as we’ve adapted it from Tim Templeton’s Book “The Referral of a Lifetime.”
In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into this game-changing approach, providing you with all the information you need to build strong connections that drive business growth.
We have more on the 250 by 250 list, including email templates and platform suggestions, here in our member’s area.
The Magic of the 250 List:
Here’s the idea: anthropologist Robin Dunbar discovered that humans can effectively maintain relationships with approximately 150 individuals; that’s Dunbar’s number. Somewhere, somehow, people started interpreting it as 250 individuals.
Now, there is controversy around Dunbar’s number and its validity. But the fundamental approach is solid. When we talk about 250 relationships, they aren’t all deep; some are, and some aren’t, but we’ve found (and so did Tim Templeton) that 250 is a manageable number for business, and we’ve often found that 250 is an underestimation of people’s true networks. So we’re sticking with it.
The essential idea is that you maintain and nurture a list of 250 contacts, and if you assume they all have a network of 250 contacts, by nurturing a relationship with your 250, you have access to a warm market of 62,500 contacts (250×250). This creates a powerful ripple effect that can significantly benefit your business.
Create Your 250 List:
Start by gathering an initial list of names, including personal and professional contacts. Ensure their contact information is up-to-date, including addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
To effectively manage your contacts, categorize them into groups A, B, C, and D based on their potential for referrals. Use a CRM system that allows for custom fields and easy organization.
I don’t think you can do this without a CRM. We use ActiveCampaign.
The ABCDing of your list is essential to making this process work: it allows you to grow, nurture, and trim your list without overwhelm.
Implement a 12-Month Relationship Development Program:
To maintain strong connections with your 250 list and generate leads, you need a structured plan.
To do this, create a 12-month program that will guide you through consistent engagement with your contacts over the course of a year.
Customize it to your industry and audience, and include personalized communication like newsletters, greeting cards, and other materials that reflect your personal brand. By following this program, you’ll provide value, stay top of mind, and foster lasting relationships.
Be a Valuable Connection to Your List
This strategy does not work if you sit back and wait for referrals; you want to refer more than you receive.
Find easy ways to make recommendations with a list of your top contacts and what they do. Create pre-written introductory emails so that you can act immediately when you find an opportunity to refer.
Staying Connected with Your 250 List:
Communication is key when it comes to maintaining strong connections.
You should engage on multiple platforms and through multiple channels.
- Use both email and regular mail to stay in touch with your contacts effectively.
- Follow your contacts on social media, comment on, and share their posts.
- Send personalized thank-you notes.
- Send handwritten birthday notes.
- Call people.
- Have lunch, coffee, or a drink in the city.
Follow up with everyone in your database, and don’t forget to ask for important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. Personalized thank-you notes go a long way in showing appreciation and strengthening relationships.
Find ways to recognize referrals given to you: send a gift or a note. Create a system that allows you to do this simply and easily.
By consistently reaching out and engaging with your network, you’ll demonstrate your commitment and increase the likelihood of referrals.
The 250 by 250 strategy is not a short-term fix to a sales problem. We do often find that people who haven’t engaged with their list tend to get some clients right away, but that isn’t the objective.
Instead, think of this as a solid foundation on which you build your business. Beyond referrals, this has the advantage of helping you build your reputation and personal brand.
By implementing a structured approach, nurturing relationships, and staying connected with your 250 list, you’ll generate leads, foster long-lasting connections, and create a network of advocates for your business.