Why Networking Could Be Your Biggest Lead Generating Tool
By Katrina Sawa
The more people you know, the more referrals and repeat business you will get. In turn, this will lead to more money that you will earn in sales. What are you doing to network to meet new people?
I hope you are not saying “been there, done that, don’t want to do that anymore”, because in this day and age of relationship building and consultative selling. This is the best way to achieve increasing your business (both new and referral business).
If you have all the business you need and you are doing your database marketing efficiently, you do not need this advice. However, most of you are probably not in that position. Besides, your customers are only getting older, or they are also networking, so it is likely that they are meeting new people. Therefore, they may be meeting someone who can handle their business instead of you.
What can you do to avoid this? First, you should be checking your local area chamber of commerce (or other professional organizations) calendar of events at the beginning of each month for places, meetings and opportunities where you will be able to network.
Where is your target market ‘hanging out’? Are they stay-at-home moms, who spend a large majority of their time doing things with their children’s school events or sports? Do those places have meetings? Are they homeowners who might attend home shows or community meetings? Are they all REALTORS®? Are you attending their monthly association meetings?
Consider going to the places where your target market is; you can find out about any group and what is available online. If you cannot find something, call us, we can help you. This is your wake up call; GET NETWORKING!
Now while you are out networking, remember to ask some important questions; this process will help you break the ice.
Asking questions is a HUGE, but important step! Whenever you are nervous or not sure what to say to break the ice, ask a question. When they answer the question, follow it up with another question, and so on and so on ….until you know their whole life story.
Why should you do this? Because it not only builds trust with the person you are speaking to, but when they walk away they think you are the greatest, they like you, they want to do business with you, and they want other people to know you too (e.g., a good referral source). It really does work.
Have you ever been to a mixer or an event where one guy or gal works the room so fast by just basically throwing their card in your hand no matter what? You do not know their name, what they do, or why they are there. Where do we put such cards when we get back to the office? IN THE CIRCULAR FILE. They are impersonal and do not even try to get to know us. They just want us to have their card in hopes that we will call them for business. Similarly, some circulate around the room asking for everyone else’s cards and then do a mass phone solicitation the next day.
I do not want to do business with people like that do you? I want to do business with people that genuinely want to know how I am doing, how my business is doing, or how my dog is doing. I network to build long lasting relationships with people like me who I respect and admire. You should strive to be this type of person because it will get you far in business, and in life.
Let us try to be better networkers, listeners and truehearted professionals. If we do, the world just might be a better place and we will all gain more business in the end.
About the Author:
Copyright 2008 K.Sawa Marketing
Katrina Sawa is an Award-Winning Relationship Marketing Coach who’s helped hundreds of small business owners take dramatic steps in their businesses to get them to the next level in business, revenues and life. She offers one-on-one coaching, group coaching and do-it-yourself marketing planning products. Go online now to get started with her Free Report and Free Audio at: www.JumpStartYourMarketing.com