If you want to be a successful networker, you need to fish where the fish are! Maree Hamilton explains how to target your efforts to get the most out of your networking efforts.
For the best networking results you need to fish where the fish are! Find where your ideal client would be and connect with them. Often this may mean that you are attending an event that you would not normally attend. The speaker may not really appeal to you but the audience does – keep that in mind! I have attended many events for the purpose of connecting with the audience rather than wanting to hear the speaker – think outside the square!
What amazes me is the amount of entrepreneurs that attend a networking event without speaking to anyone. Many business owners also attend with a friend because that makes the experience more comfortable. Sound familiar? It is usually in these cases that attendees comment that the event was nothing special and they didn’t achieve any results for their business – What a surprise! We are all creatures of habit and we tend to associate with the same people all of the time. Try joining two networking groups that suit your business and your schedule – try them out before joining.
For clear results, start networking like your business depends on it – guess what – it does! If you would like more clients now – start networking every week. This works – I grew my accounting practice by 300% in one year alone from networking! When you attend an event you can try using my question that will have people attracting to you – “Who are you looking to meet today – chances are I may know someone who is your ideal client?”.This line then leads you into a conversation about THEM and not YOU which is essential with networking. The ultimate networking sin is to start selling from the start – you will be seen as a shark!
Personally I think that we can all improve on the way that we build and develop relationships in both the business and personal areas of our lives. When you think about it, relationships undermine all that we do in life so it makes sense to invest financially and emotionally in this area to be fulfilled. Adapting to change is also an important factor that we need to consider when we put time into our relationships – remember to always spend time on making others a priority, without making everything about you.
Building business alliances is one of the most important things that you can do to guarantee the ongoing success of your business. The reality of this led me to create my networking & event business “Network Events Melbourne”. Helping others to create and build business alliances is amazing – I get to share my secrets which help others to gain new clients on a regular basis.
If you are an entrepreneur wanting to gain more quality clients and ongoing referrals – you MUST start a client/customer referral scheme. When I adopted a referral scheme, I had converted nine leads to clients in only seven days. How do you go about this? Write to your existing customer base and advise them that you are actively looking for new clients. It is important to specify the criteria around which your scheme is based. Outline how the scheme will work if an existing customer refers a converted lead to you and outline the scheme on your website – you will be amazed at the results. Beware that you must have the capacity to deal with an influx of new customers. My own scheme was based around providing a voucher to each client that referred a new business entity to my practice. This was my personal way of thanking the client for their referral and was a small price to pay considering the lifetime value of each client!
I see only too often that entrepreneurs (regardless of the size of their business) take their customer base for granted. The reality is that without your customers what do you have? – Nothing!
Learn about Maree’s book “Life Sucks but YOU CAN turn it around” at www.lifesucks.com.au
- ‘Don’t assume how employees will react to redundancy’
By Simon Rountree
- Customers behaving badly: ‘My time is worth more than yours’
By Adam Zuchetti
- What businesses can learn from Sir Roger Bannister
By Adam Zuchetti