Are you too busy doing activities that do not serve you? Are you hiding behind the computer because the thought of networking makes you queasy? Do you think networking is a waste of time? Maybe, you thought if you built your business, product or service, the people would come. Sorry to disappoint you but people do not just come.
Your friends and family may have been your first customers. You may even feel that the well has dried up and you do not know where your next client is going to come from. The problem here is that you do not have a plan.
You need to have a plan. People need to learn about you and what you offer. You have to build the know, like, and trust factor. People have to get to know and like you before they will trust you with their money. Studies have shown on average it takes about 7-9 touches or contacts with a person before they will do business with someone. For some people, it takes up to 25 times. It takes even longer before they will refer someone from their circle of friends or colleagues.
Think about how you size up people and situations before you do business with them. Chances are that once you have built the relationship with them you have no problem doing business with them or referring others to them.
There are many ways to attract the ideal client. Networking events are only one of the ways to get the word out about your product or service. These events are a great way to meet new people. The most common downside I see when going to networking events is people tend to gravitate to people they already know. I challenge you to introduce yourself to three people you do not know. Find out what they do. Share what you do. Ask questions to learn more about what they do and learn more about them. You may offer a complimentary gift such as a sample or session for people to trial you. If you are not leveraging networking opportunities, you are giving money to your competition. If you do not serve your customer, someone else will.
People crave face to face connections and conversations. Live events are the best way to create those connections and get the conversations started. Networking events are a gathering of people for a common purpose. The ice breaker has already been established. You already have a relevant theme to talk about.
Live event ideas to meet your next client:
- Chamber of Commerce events
- Professional associations
- Women’s Groups
- Trade/Industry Associations
- Rotary, Lion’s, and Kiwanis
- Alumni associations
- Sporting events
- Business Mixers
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Classes and workshops
Get out where the people are. Live events are only one way to meet your next client. Do not discount your everyday interactions in the grocery line or bank line up, at the gym or at your child’s school. Do the people you interact with know what you do? If not, here is an opportunity you are missing out on. Do not forget to leverage your social media interactions and check out Kijiji, Craigslist, Eventbrite, and Meetup.com for ways to connect with like-minded people.
Before you know it, you will be connected with several individuals. Now, you need to follow up and continue to build and nurture these relationships. Find out what their goals are and how you can help them. Zig Ziglar said, “You can get everything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” When you do this consistently, you will not have to worry about where your next client will come from.
Where did you get your clients from?