The Top 3 Strategies for Profitable Networking
One of the best ways to get your ideal clients interested in your solutions is very simple - talk to them about how you can solve their problems. You may already be telling people you know about what you do, but there is a lot more to talking to your target market than that. There are networking opportunities all around you, you just have to learn how to take advantage of them.
To really make a difference for your business, there are a few steps to follow to make the most of networking opportunities. Here are three ways to make sure that your networking time is well spent:
1. Be really strict about where you spend time networking.
There are plenty of fun places to network, but just because an organization is fun doesn't mean that it's the best place to talk about your business. Before you invest your valuable time with a group, ask yourself this question: "Is attending this event going to give me an opportunity to meet with a large group of ideal prospects (or referral partners)?" If the answer is no, attending the event is likely NOT a good use of your time. Instead, focus your time, energy and attention on connecting with your ideal prospects where they are already gathering. Research online, ask your local chamber of commerce and individuals you know who are in your target market where they congregate with their peers.
2. Get to know the key players in the organization.
When you go to a networking event, chances are you see a few people who seem comfortable and well connected and plenty of people who don't. Those who are visible and taking the lead in the group are the folks you want to get to know. Be pro-active about approaching them, learning about what the group needs and offering your support. This will highlight your generosity and willingness to serve. It will also open up opportunities to create exposure for your business.
3. Show up regularly and get to know the members.
To become a well-known fixture in the organizations that you are targeting, make sure to show up at every meeting possible. This shows your dependability and dedication to your business. Take a personal interest in each person you meet and what they are currently working towards. As you get to know them, you'll have ample opportunity to share the solutions you offer and engage them in continuing the conversation outside of the event. This will lead to a discussion about how the two of you can work together.
MOST IMPORTANT - Follow-up on all leads, on all interest, on requests for meetings or materials you promise to forward, ideally within 24 hours. You want to always strike while the iron is hot! Also, always have something of value to offer. This could be free resources on your website, an invitation to an event you're hosting, or a chance for a complimentary consultation with you. Don't ever try to sell yourself when networking, instead, focus on providing value to those you meet and giving them opportunities to learn more about your work. This is how you develop relationships, build trust and credibility, close more sales, make more mo.ney and grow your business.