Business Networking Ninja Hints and Tips
Lockdown is finally over and businesses are able to start meeting up again with potential clients and customer face to face.
Does this fill you with anticipation or simply with dread?
You know it’s critical to your business success, but are you doing it with planning and a solid strategy in place, or do you just “wing it and turn up on the day?”
Admittedly, most of us are squarely in the winging it category, but there are some quick and easy changes you can make that will put even your most important networking tasks on autopilot.
Research which Networking Groups may be relevant to your services or products
Don’t be tempted to pay out a lot of money and to join loads of different groups. If you do this, you may find that you are spending all of your time networking and none actually working on your business.
Don’t Sell, Sell, Sell….
Be yourself and try to think of it as an opportunity to help people and to connect with other businesses, rather than immediately trying to sell your products and services. People do business with people that they like and trust. This takes time, so let people know how you can help them but don’t overwhelm them with your sales pitch.
Outsource the research: If you are busy running your business, the first step is to hire a VA. Your VA can find and connect you with potential customers and clients, affiliates, guest interviews and all the other marketing options at your disposal.
All that you have to do is to type it into Google and bring back a list of hundreds of people you can then reach out to. What would a list of 100—or even 10—new customers or clients do for your business growth?
Automate the initial connection: Create a script or email template to use when you first reach out to potential partners. However, make sure that you take the time to personalize it and that you address it to their name. Your VA can send this in an email or make a call on your behalf, but having the script in place will accomplish two things:
- The process will be much faster than if you have to think about what to say.
- You’ll be able to tweak the script as you go to get better results. Just like you split test your emails, you can test your outreach process as well.
Automate the follow-up: Create an email or phone script to help speed the process. You or your VA (or your email autoresponder series) can send out a series of emails to follow up on that initial connection.
Automate your scheduling: Using a service such as TimeTrade or ScheduleOnce, you can easily set up your calendar with your preferred times for interviews, webinars and such. You can then send people who are interested in your services links to book time with you and the meetings will automatically appear on your calendar. No more endless back and forth to discuss potential meeting times, just a single click and your clients can choose the time that works for both of you.
Helpful hint: Be sure to use your calendar diligently, because if you don’t you run the risk of someone scheduling time with you when you already have another commitment. For example, don’t forget to put time in for your lunch break, time to travel to meetings, etc.
It will take a bit of work to get these systems in place, but once you do, you’ll find that attracting and working with clients and customers is much easier and more streamlined. Not only that, but with the time you save, you’ll be able to concentrate on creating new programs and services. Or maybe just have some leisure time for yourself.