Make the Most of Your Time and Energy Through Networking the Right Way!
There is no doubt about it, networking is one of the best investments of time and energy you can make. Yet so many individuals that I know or meet fail to network or fail to do it effectively. They either don’t like to do it, do not see the return on investment, or worse let fear hold them back.
In my opinion, networking is too valuable, and too easy not to make part of your business strategy. When done on a routine basis, I believe networking will bring in more business, create stronger relationships with existing clients, increase your referrals, retain more clients, and decrease your stress – sounds pretty good right?
So how do you network effectively? Again, it is easy, networking is just about connecting with people. Just follow these 5 steps to engage more prospects, expand more client relationships, and enjoy growing your business.
- Four Existing Clients – look over your current client base and choose four clients you haven’t done business with in a while. To make it easy, choose clients you enjoy working with, who you have had a good experience with and who have had a good experience with you.
- Four Referral Sources – then pick four referral sources, just as you picked four clients. Select professionals that have sent you clients in the past or professionals perfectly positioned to send you clients, and of course those you have had a good working relationship with and you enjoy.
- Two Open Ended Questions – two open ended questions is all it will take to get the conversation going. “How’s it going, how is business?” “I haven’t spoken to you in a while, how are things, what’s new in your life?” These questions open the door for you to learn so much about your clients and prospects. If you listen, pay attention, you will gain a wealth of information. If they don’t have much to report, no big life changes and no new obstacles at work, no worries. You can just thank them for their time, and let them know you plan to stay in touch. Believe me when I say that they will follow-up with you and business will come from simply taking the time to make these connections.
- Two Per Week – make two calls per week; that is it, just two per week. Reach out to two people each week (one client, one referral source) via phone, have coffee, have lunch or some combination of the two. Ask your open ended questions, and let the conversation flow, and do nothing more than end it by thanking them (for past a past referral, or for their business.)
- Two Months – commit to doing this for just two months, just committing to a call, to lunch, to coffee, two people (client and/or referral source) each week for two months. That’s it, that’s all it takes to network effectively. In just two months you will find your time and energy have been very well spent, and your opportunity for business increase.
Still not convinced? Cut this networking formula in half – two clients, two referral sources, one open ended question, one per week and one month; commit to just that little effort and sit back and watch your business increase. This equation will result in more calls, more referrals, and more business for you in just a matter of weeks.
Networking really is easy, and this powerful equation will set you apart from your competition. Networking consistently will allow you to sit back and watch as your client base grows. This economy is all about relationships, and your clients will appreciate the time and energy you take to stay connected and stay in touch.
Let me know how it goes, send me an email or give me a call, and visit my website, www.meridithelliottpowell.com, and you will find my social networking sites and all my other contact information!