Harnessing Your Raving Fans Through the Taster Model

Harnessing Your Raving Fans Through the Taster Model

Harnessing Your Raving Fans Through the Taster Model by Cynthia Greenawalt

{3:06 minutes to read} Once you’ve developed a base of referral partners, choose the top 10-15 that are in a deep state of trust with you. They understand what you do and perhaps refer you to others several times per year. They are Connectors who are willing to put their reputation on the line and open up their networks to you. These influencers are your Raving Fans.

With your Raving Fans in mind, create an event such as a workshop or other type of experience using the Taster Model™. The Taster Model is not an extended sales pitch, but more like a free or low-cost introduction to the value you and your business would bring to a client. The key is that the topic is complete in and of itself and should leave people thinking they’ve learned something they can use in their life.

Let’s use the example of Sally the interior designer. She could harness the power of her Raving Fans either the hard way or the easy way:

1. THE HARD WAY: She could ask her Raving Fans to reach out to 20 VIPs in their networks who have a beautiful home and recommend that they should call Sally the next time they’re thinking of renovating their kitchen or remodeling their summer home.

2. Or, THE EASY WAY: Sally could invite her Raving Fans to a workshop she’s presenting, featuring a topic that is of value to both her Raving Fans and their VIPs. For example, “How to Transform Your Living Space Using the Power of Art.”

The hard way means the Raving Fan is asking their 20 VIPs out of the blue to make a big leap to “hiring an interior designer.” The easy way allows the Raving Fan to ask their VIPs to make a small step, a small investment of their time, and this paves the way for those who attend the Taster to move into a state of Trust with Sally.

To leverage the Taster Model, Sally tells her Raving Fans that she’s providing them each with 10 tickets to the event so they can invite their VIPs who deeply value home design and would appreciate learning about the impact art and furniture can have in transforming a space shared by an expert in the field. She would create an emailable invitation for her Raving Fans to share, featuring Sally’s logo, website, and a short bio.

Perhaps Sally’s workshop is sponsored by one of her flooring distributors or the people she buys curtains from. Maybe Sally has recently renovated a corporate office conference room, and they agree to host her workshop. Maybe she has someone in her network that could sponsor the wine if she chooses to offer wine and cheese. There are many ways she could put on this event without it being a budget buster.

What the guests don’t realize is that Sally is auditioning for them, sharing her knowledge, energy, and presence. Often, these are reasons why people pick who they pick; we like people whose energy and presence are attractive and reassuring—like going on a date. The Taster Model becomes a highly leveraged way to attract an audience and then showcase your powerful knowledge and wonderful personality to a lot of people at one time—most of whom are referred by those who already trust you.

The key is, before you pick the topic, get some coaching. The topic has to be one that inspires the Raving Fan (your referral partner) to take action as it is seen as something that brings value to their network (making the invitation to Sally’s event a huge Deposit). My clients often don’t know what juicy training topic they should present on—they can’t see the forest for the trees.

Another element to design into your Taster initiative is creating a workable but friendly communication structure that holds your Raving Fans accountable without being annoying. Without this structure, your Raving Fans can get consumed with their own lives and might drop the ball—and this results in disappointment. Some professions are a better match for the Taster Model than others. If you’re not sure how it would work in your business, feel free to contact me.

Cynthia Greenawalt
Cynthia Greenawalt

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