Networking … It’s All About Building Relationships
We have all looked at our business and said “I need new leads.”
There are several ways to get new leads, but the most important way is via networking.
Joining and attending networking functions, you are able to begin (yes BEGIN), building relationships. Once you’ve started building these relationships the leads will follow. BUT first, you have to build relationships. People do business with those they know, like and trust. It is important that you establish and build relationships with individuals who will then send you referrals and leads, or use you themselves.
It is important that you build relationships through weekly or bi-weekly networking meetings with the same individuals on an ongoing basis. Yes, I know, it seems like it’s taking away from other elements of your business, but it’s putting you where you need to be, the forefront and face of your business. When people can associate a name and face with a business, they build a relationship. When a relationship exists with other business owners, there is the ability to build leads and contacts.
How to get involved with a networking group?
There are several opportunities to join various networking groups in most cities. A few places you can look for a networking group include:
- Your local chamber of commerce
- Your local meetup groups
- BNI chapters (usually several in a city!)
- NPI groups
How can you use these contacts to build a relationship?
Each week, select 2 individuals from your networking group and schedule a 30 minute 1-on-1 coffee date. During this coffee date, you spend 15 minutes talking about you and your ideal client, and your fellow networking spends 15 minutes talking about them and their ideal client. You should also during this time, schedule ANOTHER 1-on-1 coffee date AND also find out how you can help them with their business and their leads.
A word of advice, if you are interested in how you can help them, they will be interested in how they can help you. If you grow a relationship that has ongoing growth and nurturing, your leads will grow, with little outside work.
Networking is a great opportunity to gain new contacts and lead generators. We hear all the time, how clients come from word of mouth, the more mouths that are spreading, the more leads you are getting. It takes 2 hours a week at a weekly meeting, and 1 hour of 1-on-1 coffee dates each week, a minimal time investment, yielding big results!
So get networking!!!!