| Get More Clients From Networking Ė Follow The Rules Of Dating. |
If youíre a business owner, you probably spend quite a lot of
your time at networking events. In fact, it may be the main way
you try to get new clients. But do you ever feel that you
could get more from these meetings? Do you actually get the
results from your networking to justify the amount of time you
put into it?
If you donít find you get a lot of interest from the people you
meet, it may be that youíre going about things the wrong way.
You may need a new approach.
My own view is that you canít go far wrong if you think of
networking more like dating. The two activities have a lot in
common ( although, I must admit, Iím relying on distant memory
here ). Here are some things you need to think about.
1. What sort of person do you want to meet?
If your answer is ď anyone ď you risk wasting time talking to a
lot of people who just arenít going to be ď the one ď. You also
sound a bit desperate, to be honest. Not everyone is going to be
your ideal client. Once you know who that is, you can be more
choosy about who you talk to.
2. Where are you likely to meet them?
There are lots of places to meet people, but where will you find
your ideal person Ė in a club, at evening classes, at the Bingo?
Donít just go to the first place you find, pick the event where
you know the person youíre looking for is most likely to be.
3. Think about joining a dating agency so you can look through
details of the other members.
Look at the members list of any group before joining if you can
get hold of it ( ask for photographs if possible ). Also,
look at the list of attendees before a meeting so you can make a
beeline for the people you want to talk to.
4. Accept that it takes time to build a relationship.
Donít expect too much too soon. People will need time to get to
know and trust you and, in this case, youíre looking for a long
term relationship, not a one Ė night stand.
5. Think of something interesting to say about yourself.
If someone asks you ď What do you do? ď donít just say ď Iím a
Financial Adviser ď or ď Iím a Consultant ď and expect them to
swoon. Tell them what you do for people, how you help, the
problems you solve. But donít make things up to impress them,
youíll be found out sooner or later.
6. Donít spend the whole time talking about yourself.
One secret for getting people to like you is to ask them about
themselves. Be a great listener, not a great talker. People love
talking about themselves, they donít want to listen to you
telling them how wonderful you are. Stop talking before they
lose the will to live and ask a question. Prepare some good ones
in advance so your mind doesnít go blank. Avoid ď Do you come
here often? ď or ď So what line of business are you in? ď Try to
find something you both have in common.
7. Donít be too pushy on your first date.
Just because someone shows an interest doesnít mean you can
bombard them with information about all your products or
services. Youíll look too needy and that puts people off.
8. People always say theyíll ring, they never do.
Sad but true. Donít rely on other people ringing you, make sure
you get their number so you can call them. Itís much more
important to get someone elseís business card than to give them
your own. It gives you the initiative.
9. Keep your numbers in a little black book.
Set up a contact management system so you donít lose the details
of the people you meet. This might just be a card index or it
might be sophisticated software. Whatever it is, have a system
which you know how to use.
10. Keep in touch.
Do contact them again if you got on well, they want you to
really. Call or write, refer back to your conversation and
mention something they said. Send them an article about an
interest they mentioned, it will show you were listening and you
care about them. Itís amazing how many people go to networking
events, then never follow up with the people they meet. Donít
expect ď love at first sight ď, it takes several contacts before
someone is likely to do business with you.
I hope thatís given you some ideas. Of course, you still have to
remember the basics, such as dressing up a bit and cleaning your
teeth, but thatís down to you.
And, of course, there is one big difference between networking
and dating Ė with networking, youíre allowed to see lots of
people at the same time!
About the Author
Alan Matthews is a Marketing Coach, Trainer and Speaker who helps business owners to prepare and deliver a compelling marketing message. For a free report " Why Isn't This Working? How To Get People Interested In Your Business " email mailto:email@example.com
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