The more people you know, the more referrals and repeat business you will get. In turn, this will lead to more money that you will earn in sales. What are you doing to network to meet new people?
I hope you are not saying “been there, done that, don’t want to do that anymore”, because in this day and age of relationship building and consultative selling. This is the best way to achieve increasing your business (both new and referral business).
If you have all the business you need and you are doing your database marketing efficiently, you do not need this advice. However, most of you are probably not in that position. Besides, your customers are only getting older, or they are also networking, so it is likely that they are meeting new people. Therefore, they may be meeting someone who can handle their business instead of you.
What can you do to avoid this? First, you should be checking your local area chamber of commerce (or other professional organizations or women’s organizations if that’s a good fit) calendar of events at the beginning of each month for places, meetings and opportunities where you will be able to network.
Where is your target market ‘hanging out’? Are they stay-at-home moms, who spend a large majority of their time doing things with their children’s school events or sports? Do those places have meetings? Are they homeowners who might attend home shows or community meetings? Are they all realtors? Are you attending their monthly association meetings?
Consider going to the places where your target market is; you can find out about any group and what is available online. If you cannot find something, do a Google search, there are plenty of online networking lists and groups including meetup.com and more. This is your wake up call; GET NETWORKING!
Now while you are out networking, remember to ask some important questions; this process will help you break the ice and make you feel less ‘salsey’.
Asking questions is a HUGE, but important step! Whenever you are nervous or not sure what to say to break the ice, ask a question. When they answer the question, follow it up with another question, and so on and so on ….until you know their whole life story.
Why should you do this? Because it not only builds trust with the person you are speaking to, but when they walk away they think you are the greatest, they like you, they want to do business with you, and they want other people to know you too (e.g., a good referral source). It really does work.
Whatever you do, you don’t want to monopolize the conversation about you, what you do or how great your products or services are; you want to make it about them.
Have you ever been to a mixer or an event where one guy or gal works the room so fast by just basically throwing their card in your hand no matter what? You do not know their name, what they do, or why they are there. Where do we put such cards when we get back to the office? IN THE CIRCULAR FILE. They are impersonal and do not even try to get to know us. They just want us to have their card in hopes that we will call them for business. Similarly, some circulate around the room asking for everyone else’s cards and then do a mass phone or non-opted in email solicitation the next day.
I do not want to do business with people like that do you? I want to do business with people that genuinely want to know how I am doing, how my business is doing, or how my dog or kids are doing. I network to build long lasting relationships with people like me who I respect and admire and. You should strive to be this type of person because it will get you far in business, and in life.
Let us try to be better networkers, listeners and truehearted professionals. If we do, the world just might be a better place and we will all gain more business in the end.
For more information on how to JumpStart your small business with creative ideas and a clear plan to reach your unique target market find out how to talk with me in a complimentary Strategy Session, go fill out the questionnaire at www.AskKat.biz. Let’s plot out YOUR Big Picture Strategy now before it’s too late!
Join me on #SpeakerChat November 26, 2013 at 4pm PST when I will be a guest.