Imagine if speakers and coaches possessed a marketing secret that would help attract more customers, grow their businesses faster, and create sustainable success in their personal and professional life?
THEY ALREADY DO … It’s called Networking.
Networking is the art of building relationships. It’s the knowledge and awareness that today’s consumer will buy from businesses they know, like and trust; not necessarily from an ad on TV. Marketers and business owners have known this for many years and are aware that the key to earning the trust of potential new clients oftentimes lies in the hands of those who already know, like and trust you, and are busy spreading the good word about your services, products and business to those around them. They also know they can work to create opportunities for new business through conventional marketing tactics like ads, podcasts, seminars and webinars that get their information in front of the end-user or their ideal client.Networking is the art of building relationships. It's the knowledge and awareness that today’s consumer will buy from businesses they know, like and trustClick To Tweet
However, another form of effective marketing is available, and that form is business-to-business networking. Business networking describes the act of seeking out, and connecting with, other business professionals who are like-minded or in a similar business space. This does not mean rubbing elbows with your competitors, but it does mean connecting face-to-face and cultivating relationships with other business professionals who offer complimentary services or products.
A great example would be when a speaker or a coach connects with a resort owner, a hotel manager or event planner. These professions are often looking for options for entertainment or education for large groups or convention attendees, and the services you offer could be a perfect fit for their needs. Even when businesses are not related; having an army of professional folks who know about your business, and can offer your name as a referral, is a valuable and affordable marketing strategy all businesses should consider.
Getting Started with Offline Networking
Be Authentic in Your Actions: Anyone new to the offline networking scene should know it’s not about showing up, handing out your business cards and then slipping out the side door. Relationship building is key, and it’s also a two-way-street and not a one-sided conversation. Showing interest in the businesses of others and being willing and open to referring them as well, is just as important to networking success.Business networking is a two-way street, not a one-sided conversation.Click To Tweet
Be prepared: If “being prepared” works for the Boy Scouts, it is certainly a good rule to follow when business networking as well! Before heading into a networking situation, have your 30 second elevator pitch ready. Come armed with a handful of business cards, but get used to the idea of using small talk to break the ice before thrusting them into the hands of everyone you meet. Sometimes the simplest questions like, “tell me about yourself” can unleash a wealth of opportunity. Also be prepared to follow up with any connection you make by sending a, “nice to have met you” email, as well as connecting with them via social media.
Look for Opportunities: While you always want to choose events where you know your target market will be in attendance, take the time to seek out new opportunities to attend conferences, trade shows and gatherings even if they seem unrelated to your business. Conferences are places where business professionals can get together, discuss new ideas and share information; and by visiting these events, you stand a good chance of walking away with new knowledge and at least one lead in your pocket.
Business Networking is not something to fear and should not be avoided even if your business is an online business. Speakers and coaches need to make connections and meet new people at every opportunity, because the reality is; you just never know where your next prospective client will come from. Show your support for others and they will reciprocate in kind, possibly with advice and opportunities that open new doors for you.
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