One on one communications is vital to the growth of a small business. Not everyone you talk to can be a potential client, but most everyone you talk to can tell a positive story about you and perhaps, refer new clients. Why is it then, when a person walks into your place of business and they are not a customer, you don’t want to spend your time in conversation?
You are in the people business and the very best opportunity you have to sell yourself is in a one to one conversation . Granted, you can’t spend the day talking about “football” but if you are prepared to share a story and also to listen, you can establish a worth while relationship.
The key to this meeting, like any other, is your preparation. Take the time to write a paragraph about your firm and it’s unique offering. Have a brochure with your web page and newsletter subscription instructions, as well as a short paragraph about your firm. When meeting someone, tell your story and make sure you give the other person an opportunity to share their story. Always carry a small note pad with you (yes, even in this high tech environment) and jot down a few points about what that person does. Explain that you would like to establish an ongoing relationship and perhaps do some referrals between the two firms. Your note taking helps emphasize your desire to learn more about the person you are visilting. With your notes and a business card, you are ready to incorporate your new contact in your follow-up system.
This system works anytime you are in a position to meet new people. It shows that you care by listening and are not just handing out a card which will be discarded as soon as you leave. If you go to a networking meeting, you are better off establishing a relationship with one or two people that handing out 30 cards in 20 minutes.
This is a game plan to involve others, so that everyone benefits. Especially you.
” Your success depends on two things: your rapport building skills and your networking strategy.
Have a great day!