The First Phase of the VCP Process–Visibility

Last week I wrote a blog explaining the VCP Process, which is a huge part of the foundation of networking. Because this process is so crucial to effective networking, I promised to write a blog entry for each of the three phases (visibility, credibility and profitability), and today I’m going to talk about why it all starts with visibility.

The first phase of growing a relationship is visibility: You and another individual become aware of each other.  In business terms, a potential source of referrals or a potential customer becomes aware of the nature of your business–perhaps because of your public relations and advertising efforts, because of your social media presence or perhaps through someone you both know. This person may observe you in the act of conducting business or relating with the people around you. The two of you begin to communicate and establish links–perhaps a question or two over the phone or via e-mail messages about product availability. You may become personally acquainted and work on a first-name basis, but you know little about each other. A combination of many such relationships forms a casual-contact network, a sort of de facto association based on one or more shared interests.

The visibility phase is important because it creates recognition and awareness.  The greater your visibility, the more widely known you will be, the more information you will obtain about others, the more opportunities you will be exposed to, and the greater will be your chances of being accepted by other individuals or groups as someone to whom they can or should refer business.  Visibility must be actively maintained and developed; without it, you cannot move on to the next level, credibility.

I’ll talk more about credibility next week, but it’s important to understand that visibility brings the opportunity to build credibility, and credibility is what will get you to profitability, where you’ll actually benefit from your efforts. So many times people try to jump straight from visibility to profitability, and that’s not real networking; it’s just an obvious ploy to get something from your new contacts. That’s nothing more than a bad attempt at direct selling and a big waste of time.

So, how do you go about creating more visibility for your business? What are some strategies that have really worked out well for you?  I’d love to hear your comments.

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4 thoughts on “The First Phase of the VCP Process–Visibility

  1. Dear Ivan

    Your views on visibility resonates with me and I incorporate it in my personal branding coacging sessions with my networking clients. The fact is that without credibility it is very difficult to obtain your networking or referral objectives. I suggest that if you grow your business via networking (in my terms it means relationship building then you have to have a credibility building and retention plan…This requires you to be visible and you can only have a confident visibility plan if you understand what message you what to communicate to your audiences. Here are some of the things I am doing in line with my visibility objectives: Writing articles to position myself as an expert, doing conference speaking at reduced rates, do strategic sociail media, do strategic social networking, one-on-one face to face networking, attend startegic networking functions etc. Its all deliberate, systematic and repetitive…repitition results in reputation!

    Regards. Karl Smith
    Business Networking South Africa- Cape Town

  2. Your views on visibility resonates with me and I incorporate it in my personal branding coaching sessions with my networking clients. The fact is that without credibility it is very difficult to obtain your networking or referral objectives.
    daizy

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