Do you do much face-to-face networking? If so, can you say that you leave people itching to learn more about your business, ready to buy your product or service? If not, or if you don't network much, perhaps this information will inspire you to get out there, prepared to make the big bucks!
Colin Sprake, founder and owner of Make Your Mark Training and Consulting Inc. and author of Entrepreneur Success Recipe, says that he has brought in revenues of over $500,000 per year through networking. His secret? It's simple: He does it right. Based on his enormous networking success, Sprake has developed what he calls the W.I.N. Formula, a simple, proven process that he says will leave every viable prospect you meet wanting more.
Who are you after?
Do you hang out in the right groups? If you are after million-dollar businesses, then do not attend groups filled with startups and non-ideal clients. Don't believe the myth that non-prospects will introduce you to your ideal prospects. This is far from ever happening because, as the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together, so find groups where million-dollar businesses are gathering.
Also, remember that every event is considered a networking event, whether is it labeled as such or not! Official networking groups, cocktail parties, seminars, trainings, business functions, universities, colleges, and trade shows all provide a huge ocean of opportunity for you to grow your business and income.
To determine which events hold the most potential, you must know your ideal client. If you offer a B2B product or service, you are most likely looking either for startups or established businesses, not both. Here are some ideas on where to find them:
- Boards of trade
- Chambers of commerce
- Gala functions
- Trade shows
- Business conferences
- Industry associations
- Charity functions/fund raisers
- Political meetings
Make certain to clearly understand your intention when you go networking. Of course you want to grow your business, which means you are there to find clients and make money!
"I forever hear people say that the reason they network is to build relationships," says Sprake. "The sad part is that's all they get, a whole bunch of great relationships and seldom sales or new clients."
OK, don't throw him under the bus for his outlook on building relationships just yet. "I want you to understand that you need to put out both intentions," Sprake says. "You're out there to build relationships and make money. It's just that too many people forget about the latter! Simply put, what you put out there is what you get back."
Need a message
I agree with Sprake when he says that he does not understand why people teach you to use elevator pitches at networking events. When you say the same thing every single time you go to the group, people never learn about you and what you can truly do for them.
Create messages that target the pains of the people around the table and that are about the solution you have for them. Invite them to talk with you in order to get the solution. If you hit that pain hard enough you will have people jumping out of their seats to talk with you!
Instead of the dreaded elevator speech, you can create hundreds of messages. Study the make-up of your audience prior to attending an event and tailor your message to those around the table. Have your solutions ready because they will want to speak with you.
When you start to follow the W.I.N. Formula you will start to see dramatic results in your business and make more money than you ever have through your networking. Let us know how you do!