Yep, I know we sell digital marketing services, but for my money (and yours) the most effective and low cost solutions to snag more business is through networking and referrals.
BUT…like anything else in this life, it only works if you do it the right way. You can’t just go to a networking event, throw a hundred business cards around the room while giving your elevator pitch and expect your phone to ring off the hook. This approach is why SO MANY say things like:
“I used to belong to the Chamber of Commerce but we got no business.”
“I’ve attended networking events…they are useless.”
And these people go on to spend THOUSANDS on marketing per month just so they can get some new prospects coming in, when instead, if they spent just a bit of time learning HOW to network effectively, they could land new clients monthly with only the cost of their time in attending networking events.
- Don’t talk about yourself, ask the attendees questions about THEIR business…how can they help their clients? What is their specialty? What type of person could you refer to them? If you do this, there will be plenty of time for you to give them info about their business…AFTER you’ve focused on them.
- Your business card doesn’t matter…THEIRS does. If you have their info, you can follow up with a friendly email or phone call, remind them who you are, tell them how great it was to meet them and again ask who could be a good referral for their business (you can remind them of the same for you as well)
- You can then follow up with these individuals regularly. Set up a coffee or lunch, see them at future events…the goal is to create referral sources, NOT just turn everyone you meet into a customer or client!
Quality relationships turn into quality business and business referrals over time. Now, go sign up for a networking event and make something happen!