Get More Clients, PART 6: Power Networking – Your 15-Part Cheat-Sheat
Congratulations for keeping up with the 12-Week course!
I hope you’ve been keeping up with each part and implemented each of the strategies we covered in earlier parts… Remember, many of these 1st few parts are foundation elements and are crucial to the success of your coaching (or consulting) business.
I suggest you create a folder in your email, called “The 90-Days Blueprint” (or whatever you choose) so you can refer back to any of this info whenever you need it.
All right, let’s move on to today’s lesson…
Power Networking – How to Generate Leads & Attract More Clients with Networking
Today I want to share with you my 15-point power networking-checklist.
Networking is one of the most misused client-attraction strategy, as well as often the most under-utilized. However, fact is that Networking is also one of the most effective way to get paying clients in the shortest time, WHEN you do it right.
I’ll share with you my networking checklist that helps me come home from every networking event with at least a dozen leads for my coaching or speaking business. I broke up the 15 strategies into 3 areas:
- Before the Event – How to prepare for each of your networking events
- During the Event – What to say, what not to say, how to identify your ideal clients, and more…
- After the Event – What to do after each event in order to maximize your networking efforts and to convert many of your leads into paying clients OR referral sources.
So let’s jump into it!
Before the Event
Here are a few tips to follow Before you start attending your first networking event:
Here are a few tips to follow Before you start attending your first networking event:
1. Identify your target market/ideal client – be clear on Who you want to work with (as we talked about it in earlier parts)
2. Identify “networking” groups where you can get in front of your target market/ideal client and find out when they meet (chamber of commerce, BNI, other networking groups in your community or neighboring communities, conferences, associations, Toastmasters, Rotary Clubs, etc.) Plan to attend – put it on your planner (organization/planning is half of the secret of success)
3. Create a business card that serves as a lead-generation tool! (See 10-Steps to Creating a Lead-Generating & Client-Attracting BusinessCard) *** To use this business card strategy effectively – and to successfully grow a list of followers/prospects – you need to have a landing page with a powerful offer that speaks directly to your ideal client. This will allow you to collect names and email addresses and develop a business-relationship with your prospective clients (contact me, if you need help with setting up your landing page, or modifying your website home-page to serve this purpose)
4. Set specific goals for your networking event
– Do you want to find strategic alliance partners to market to their existing clients or do you want to connect with potential new clients? – How many connections will you create (how many business cards and appointments will you collect during the networking event)? *** Make sure to take notes on each card that you collect: record topic discussed, appointment date/time if you set one up, etc.
5. Plan a few conversation starters
Have a short – 3 to 5 second – “teaser” elevator pitch that you can use to answer the question “What do you do?” and memorize it. For example, “I work with small business owners who want to become more productive and increase their profits by 50% or more.”
Also, have a longer – 30 seconds to 1-minute – elevator pitch that answers the follow-up question your prospect might ask in response to your short elevator pitch. After they hear your short (teaser) elevator pitch, they might say, “Interesting, how do you do that?” In my case, I might answer, ”I help struggling small business owners who want to dramatically increase their cash flow. I help them implement proven and tested strategies they need so that they can immediately generate more leads, attract more clients and make more money than they have ever made before… even in this horrible economy. I can often show the small business owner in less than 45 minutes how to generate an extra $1000 to $5000 per month Without spending more time or money.” And if this is my ideal client, they’ll want to set up that appointment for that 45-minute (FREE) consult.
*** Have 2 or 3 short elevator pitches in your “pocket” – one that you use when you stand up and introduce yourself – “Hi, my name is Jimmy Johnson – I help individuals who (describe the major challenge)…. by (how do you help them)… so that they can (what will the end result be); and one that you’d use when you are asked the “What do you do” type question (for both of these you can use the formula I just shared in this paragraph.)
At the Event
6. Plan to keep control of the conversation by YOU asking questions first – Keep the questions open-ended and show genuine interest to the answers you receive. For example, ask “What do you do?” “What do you like most about your job?” “What do you find most challenging in your job/industry/ business?” “What do you hope to get out of this networking event?” “What type of people would you like to connect with – I might be able to introduce you to some of my “friends…” “How’s business these days?”
*** Make sure you listen for clues whether they might need your services
7. Introduce yourself with your short elevator pitch If during the discussion they ask what you do, then you share with them your longer (prepared) elevator pitch. If you did a great job and controlled the conversation by asking questions, then introduce your services after you got your prospect talking about their challenges and offer to help them.
8. IF you see a good match, Ask for an appointment You don’t want to waste your time or their time, if there’s no good match. Stay focused on setting up appointments with people who are likely to hire you.
9. Become Known as a Connector – Give referrals If you know of someone who might be a good fit for the business of the person you connected with, introduce them to each other. Become known as someone who builds connections – someone to whom people can come for support…
After the Event
10. Once back in your office, add all the contact info you collected into your contact-management database.
Record what you talked about and any other observations you want to record; and schedule your follow-up (ZohoCRM, Insightly, etc.)
11. Decide whom among your new contacts are most likely to hire you OR you believe are a good source of referral; and plan to develop a relationship. Schedule a time to meet, lunch, send them a relevant freebie, and plan other ways to strengthen your relationship (before inviting them to be your client or before you ask for referral)
12. Follow-up with an email with everyone you connected with, within 48 hours. For example, “Hi John, it was really nice meeting you at the… I was wondering if you’d like to have lunch (coffee/tee/etc.) sometimes next week…?’ (Invite to meet anyone who you feel is a good match to become your client or who might be well connected and could serve as a referral source for your business)
* Keep adding notes to your Contact Management Database on your progress with each of your new contact (if you are unsure about what a contact-management software is, do a Google search or contact me for more info)
13. Send out physical Thank You cards to those who you met, expressing your gratitude for the new (professional) relationship (new contact)
14. Plan to attend the next networking event(s) – Find out what other networking events are coming up in your area, and if you ideal clients will be there, plan to attend (put it on your planner)
15. Become a life-time student of networking, always learning how to improve this “skill” – it’s one of the most cost-effective and practical way to get new clients, so do invest time in getting really good at it.
Apply religiously the above 15 points and you’ll become a pro at networking in no time. Once you start applying this, it’d be really great to hear some of your success stories – you can share them below, in our LinkedIn group, or shoot me an email. I absolutely love to hear about your success 🙂
Are you ready to jump in deeper into Attracting More Clients for your coaching or consulting business? Hop over to www.myClientAttractionAcademy.com/guidedtour and sign up for a FREE Test Drive of 150+ Lead-Generation and Client-Attraction Strategies (Video Tutorials and Resources) and pick ONE or TWO more Strategies to work on this week…