Be Authentic and Develop Alliance Partners
Have you ever attended networking events and observed people who are just distributing and collecting business cards? They are the ones who are not developing relationships.
Marketing coaches believe that networking is not a numbers game of how many people you can meet. It is a search for those perfect people who will complement your marketing efforts by giving you referrals or perhaps becoming a client. While networking, be sure to focus on the other person. Your communication should be about them. Once you establish a genuine interest in them and they feel comfortable with you, they will reciprocate and want to know more about you. You are on your way to creating an alliance and building partnerships.
Take the quiz on MarinerCo.com to learn what needs to happen in your business to be more successful.
Show interest. Ask questions
Networking is more than face time at meetings. It’s about really getting to know others. Just showing up and passing out cards isn’t enough. You need to spend some time getting to know other people, learning about their businesses, and understanding how (and when) to refer to them, just as you are hoping they will send referrals your way.
Start a conversation with anyone and everyone. Learn how to ask questions and discuss topics that have nothing to do with your business. Establish a common interest and develop a relationship. Keep asking questions until you find something in common. To be likeable, first and foremost, you must be friendly. As simple as that sounds, friendliness is not the norm. Being friendly requires time, attention, and mental focus.
Remember, many people at networking events do not know how to network. They may brush you off because they really don’t know that you have a large network and can give them referrals. Therefore, it is important to find out as much about them as you can. Then you can inform them of people and situations in your life experiences that can help them. Offer to send them an article or a link to a website that might be of interest to them. Ask who they would like to meet. Introduce them or send the information when you follow-up. Be a good resource.
Not every person you meet is a prospect but nearly every person you meet can be a valuable part of your network. While networking, connect with more than just your prospects. You are seeking referral partners, potential alliance partners, and perhaps even peers or colleagues that are potential partners on large projects. Try to meet business owners for referring to prospects that are not a good fit for you. Identify your niche and clearly describe them so people can refer to you. Carefully choose where you spend your time. If you are not getting referrals or clients from your networking, then it is time to identify your niche and where you can find them. Also, identify the people who would be strong alliances in your field and seek them out. Those are the people who will refer clients to you and possibly partner at events with you. The most valuable person in your network is not the person who buys from you; it is the person who refers to you.
What a joy to receive this testimonial from someone I’ve known for many years.
I had heard about Carol from several very successful business people I
knew in Denver who raved about her ability to provide focused, efficient
and reasonable business advice that took into account the need for a
work-life balance. I found the stories interesting because folks raved
about not only their business success (increased sales) after working
with her but also how they felt more in-control and happy in their
entire life. When I met Carol, I understood why successful people rave
about her – she has combined her business skills with an ability to
relate well to people and provides a comprehensive solution to whatever
problem is placed in front of her taking into account the whole person –
not just the business side of the problem.
Jennifer M. McCallum, Ph.D., Esq.
The McCallum Law Firm, P.C.
685 Briggs Street, P.O. Box 929
Erie, CO 80516
Costly marketing strategies are taking a back seat to a much better way to get more clients, more customers, more sales, and more revenue.
I’m talking about referrals, and here are three major reasons why they still rule:
- Your prospects are in a completely different mindset when they are referred to you. They are ready to move forward.
- Skepticism goes out the window. Referrals are the antidote to the hesitant buyer because you’ve already been vetted.
- It’s the ultimate win-win because the person who referred you is doing the prospect a favor. All you have to do is come through with great service (and I know you can do that).
“In terms of a business boost, I can’t praise Carol Naff highly enough. As a business coach myself, I struggled for years with establishing my practice. Working with Carol as my coach, my business rapidly started to climb. This year, despite the recession, I am on target to earn $70,000, with only 10 clients! That equates to about 40 working hours a month. With Carol’s help, I fine-tuned my marketing skills and built my referral engine. The results – I haven’t marketed for several years. Clients seemingly fall into my lap by referral. Thank you, Carol!!!! Melinda Condray, Executive Coach, Baltimore
Join Carol Naff and Andy O’Bryan for this free teleseminar, The Referral Project: How to Build a Referral Based Business on Wednesday, October 19 by clicking on the solobizmarketing.wordpress link to learn more about The Referral Project and to register.