Meeting new people, in person, is consistently rated as one of the most effective ways to find new prospects for selling your professional services. After attending just a few networking mixers or industry meetings, you will quickly end up with a daunting collection of new contacts. But what do you do with them all?
Remember Why You Are Networking
The whole point of meeting new people is to give you a starting point for developing relationships. New contacts almost never become clients as the result of a one-time meeting.
It’s easy to let things slide, especially when they feel difficult. Unfortunately, sometimes in business, following up with clients can feel that way.
Why is that? It’s not as if your hands are broken and you can’t type, dial the phone, pick up a cup of coffee, or you don’t know how important following up is.
I asked a new client recently what he had been doing to market his professional services. “Everything,” he said. “I’ve been running pay-per-click ads online, I hired someone to write a sales letter and mailed it to a list of local companies, I have a banner ad in my professional association’s directory, I’ve even been posting flyers around town… and I still have almost no business.”
“Ah hah,” I replied, “I think we’ve uncovered your problem. You actually haven’t been marketing your business. What you have been doing is advertising.”
You are naturally magnetic — really! There’s a natural way about you that’s attractive to others, and in the world of marketing, this magnetism is your secret sauce. By tapping into it, you’ll attract clients easily.
Not sure how to do that? Here are four ways you can harness your innate magnetism.
Established professionals and those who are new in business often have a difference of opinion about going to networking events. Many old-timers in business say that live, in-person networking meetings are one of their most important sources of prospective clients, while the newcomers frequently claim to not see much return from attending these events. It’s the professionals’ length of time in business that seems to influence their view, not their age in years. So, what’s going on here?
True or not true? Asking someone to become your referral partner is scary.
If you said true, you’re not alone.
How scary it is to ask someone to send you referrals depends on your comfort level. The more you practice the better you get, and that’s something you can build on. Even if asking for referrals doesn’t seem to come naturally, you can train yourself to do it comfortably enough — and it might even become fun!
You can learn a lot about marketing by listening to broadcast radio or streaming audio. You can learn even more by noticing when you’re not listening. A clear signal and music or talk you like to hear will keep you tuned in to a particular station or channel. But too much static, a connection that keeps dropping, too many ads, or programming not to your taste will overwhelm the signal, and all you’ll hear is noise. That’s when you’ll tune out. Which is pretty much the same way that our prospective clients react to our marketing messages.
What’s your one surefire, can’t fail marketing strategy? What did someone tell you is the one thing that always works? When you think of what these strategies might be, I’m guessing things come to mind such as attending networking events or publishing articles, and these certainly can be effective marketing strategies.
If you look at the broader picture of marketing, you can see it with a unique perspective. A perspective that produces consistently great results no matter what marketing strategy you choose. A real-life, win that you can count on no matter what. Curious what it is?
“I don’t have time to market my business.” It’s a common complaint from self-employed professionals. When you are the only one who can serve your clients, manage the business, keep up in your field, and perform all the sales and marketing functions, time becomes the most precious commodity you have. How can you find time for marketing with so many other important priorities?
You have many time management techniques at your disposal, of course. You can defer some tasks or delegate them to an assistant, chunk down big projects into smaller steps, and set aside blocks of time on your calendar for making calls, writing emails, or updating your social media channels. But perhaps you have already tried all those approaches and discovered that time is still scarce.
Productivity is a popular buzzword these days. There’s an assumption that being productive is a good thing, and in fact if you’re going to stay in business, you will need to be productive. But what does that really mean, especially when it comes to your marketing?
There’s a phenomenon I think of as pseudo-productivity: when you’re getting things done-ish. These are things that keep you busy, maybe even fill up your calendar, yet they’re not actually productive. Real productivity means you’re getting things done that move your business forward, like getting the word out about your offerings, or creating a solid foundation for your ability to serve your clients.