How to Choose the Right Business Networking Group for you

How to Choose the Right Business Networking Group for you

Three Simple questions to ask yourself:

  1. Are you at every networking event that comes along and you pick up lots of business cards, but
    can’t seem to turn these cards into new clients?
  2. Do you belong to a weekly networking referral group? But are you one of the members that just
    does not seem to get the referrals given to them, that the others in your group do?
  3. You ask yourself, what am I doing wrong?

If this sounds like you, please let me share some of the answers to these questions that I have learnt over twelve years of being involved in weekly networking groups and attending lots of monthly meetings. These may seem like simple answers but in my experience they seem to be true.

7 Networking facts that will help you choose the right business networking group

Fact One: Networking is about people-lots of people from all different walks of life, different sexes, different ages and nationalities and they all attend networking events to build their businesses.

Fact Two: Networking takes time-You cannot expect to turn up one day to a networking group or event and pick up lots of new referrals. It takes time for people to get to know and trust you. It will take time before they are either going to refer to you themselves or their clients and friends

Fact Three: Networking is about building relationships of trust in the networking groups you attend: You can expedite this and I will explain how in a few minutes, but this is the first key to getting referrals and high quality connections coming to you.

Fact Four: Networkers who get lots of referrals in their weekly networking group and at monthly events, have taken the time to spend with people getting to know about them, their business and what they do and also their ideal clients.

Fact Five: You do not have to be a very outgoing person that is the ‘star in the room’ to be a great networker. Now, how awesome is that? Yes, I have proven this time and time again over twelve years of watching how people interact with each other. It is often the quieter ones that are great listeners, that people really trust. They make the people around them feel important and valued, they are not looking out to make the ‘next sale and meet someone more interesting in the room’. They are the quiet achievers that people are drawn to and trust and are fantastic connectors to other key people. They are ‘the supporters in the group. Key people.

Fact Six: Coffee Meetings are King….This is the secret of my business…….. Arranging coffee meetings for an hour with prospective new clients and key people. Taking the time to get to know them and their business over a simple cup of coffee or a pot of tea is the
most awesome return on investment (ROI) you will ever make. There is no pressure to make a sale. The conversation naturally unfolds and trust is slowly built. It is a win/win for both people at the meeting. But
make sure if you are the host, that you pay for the coffees.

Fact Seven: All networking groups are different. The key is finding the one that works best for you. There are weekly networking groups; monthly Meetup groups; Chamber of Industry group meetings; Rotary and Lions Clubs. All have a place in building your business for you.

There is no simple answer. If there is one simple answer, then it is this!
Go and visit 4 or 5 and see which one suits you best.

 

You will soon feel when one group ‘feels right’. It just does. Continue to go to this a couple of times to make sure that it is the right one for you. Invest your time; energy and money in it to build your business using this as your referral/business networking group. It will take a bit of time, for you to see a return for your results, but you will. I can assure you of this.

Will this work I hear you say? Yes it will.

  • If being a great and Passionate Networker were simple, then everyone would be doing it.
  • Most business people give up after only a few times and say it does not work for them.
  • Don’tgive up, great business networkers are tenacious people. They keep building business relationships of trust and then slowly and gradually, they become trusted and people. r friends.
  • Be like the Dulux add. “Keep on keeping on”
  • All you have to do is go out there and do it. That is the hardest part.
  • But talk to some of your business friends and ask them to share with you some great networking events that you can attend
  • Google Networking Groups Brisbane to find some great groups that may suit you.

Disclaimer:
This Blog is written on my personal experience over 12 years of attending weekly networking groups on a weekly basis during that time. You need to asses this alongside what you are currently doing” Rose Gibbens.

If all else fails, send me an email, as I would love to help you get started on your personal networking journey. I tell my NRG members, once you start networking properly, your business will never ever be the same again…

Business Networking: Money Wasting Traps

Business Networking: Money Wasting Traps

Business Networking is about helping you build a strong base of valued clients.

I am going to share with you my business networking journey and some of the pitfalls and mistakes that I have made along the way.

One of these is definitely wasting money on networking events that do not give me a return on my investment known as (ROI). Not every networking event is right for your business. One size does not fit all, that is for sure. I have learnt this the hard ways over the last twelve years of business networking.

Disclaimer:These are my opinions only and every business person is different. You need to assess my comments alongside what you are currently doing”.

Here are my 10 Money Wasting Traps:

  1. Not doing your research about an event that wish to attend.
  2. Not being selective in the networking events that you attend
  3. Attending networking events that your ideal clients will not be at
  4. Attending seminars that offer you ‘A get rich quick scheme’
  5. Rushing to the back of the room at a workshop to secure their ‘Today Only Hot Offer’
  6. Attending women or men only networking events the majority of the time
  7. Arriving late and leaving early at a networking event or workshop
  8. Impulse buying books and DVD’s that you never get around to reading or watching
  9. Going to every new networking group around to ‘try it out’
  10. Not concentrating on building strong business relationships at a few selected groups

Business Networking takes time and patience.

It is about building strong relationships of trust for the long term. Attending networking events regularly is the ideal way to do this to continue to build your business. However, you need to ensure that you Follow Up with each new business person that you meet that you wish to form a strong relationship with.

Key to Business Networking – You Must Network Yourself

No-one else can network for you.

Your business partner can’t, your employees can’t, your family can’t. It is something that you have to do yourself.

Remember Business Networking is about connecting with people. It is about getting to know them and building a relationship of trust where they trust you in business and you trust them.

Only then when trust is built are you willing to refer your best clients to them-Gold Clients. These are the clients that are really important to your business. You take great care of them and you nurture your relationship with them. So you are certainly not going to refer them to just anyone. Don’t ever make this mistake. I have to my peril and lost some of my Gold Clients because of it…

Business Networking-Choose the right networking events for your business

As I mentioned earlier in my Blog, not every networking event is right for your business.

You need to carefully consider the events and workshops that you attend. There is so many to choose from out there. Every event sounds great, so how do you choose the right ones for your business. Organisers pay a lot of money to advertise and promote their events and they often have professional marketing people that do this to ‘draw you in’. Be wary of the hype.

Please ensure that your ideal clients or your target market attend these events. Check out the claims of the organiser of these events. Make sure that they have a good and reliable reputation. Look on Facebook to see who is attending these events. Most organisers will advertise on Facebook and you can click Going to see who is attending the workshop or event. If you know people that you trust that are going, call them and ask about their experience with this person or events. Ask who normally attends these events. This is usually a good gauge for you.

I always do this if it is an event that I have not attended before. If you do not do this simple bit of homework, you will spend a lot of your hard earned money for little or no return.

How I select the right networking events and workshops for me and my business

  • I have been involved in weekly networking groups each week for twelve years now, except for about 3 months break six years ago. I have made the most amazing lifelong friends from being in a weekly business networking group.It has helped me tremendously in building three of my own businesses this way.
  • I get about 75% of my business through my Networkers Referral Group (NRG).
    Meetup Groups are also a great source of quality business relationships and new clients. I normally attend 1-2 of the same ones regularly. You can just do a Google Search or download the Meetup App to find the right group near you. There is a huge variety of different groups and topics to choose from. Both business and social.
  • Outstanding Groups that I attend is definitely Jennie Gorman’s Power Hours at Clayfield. It is the one group that I try to get to every couple of weeks. Jennie discusses a different business topic each week and the people who attend her groups are very good business people with high integrity.

Summing Up:

I recommend as a networking professional to do the following:

  1. Belong to a weekly networking group. The three best ones in Brisbane are: BNI; KBN and my NRG groups. They are all slightly different, but all three are well run and will give you a strong base of good business people to help you build your business.
  2. Attend 1-2 business networking events each month (Meetup or Chamber of Commerce)
  3. Attend an outstanding workshop every two months.

If you follow these 3 simple steps and follow up after each event, you will definitely be on your way to building a great business and you will not be Wasting Money along the way.

If you would like to know more about any information contained in this Blog, please go to my website at: www.nrggroups.com.au

Please feel free to share this post with your business friends. I hope you enjoy this Blog.

Small Business Networking 10 Common Mistakes People Make

Small Business Networking: 10 Common Mistakes People Make

Business Networking was a totally new concept to me eleven years ago when I was living in Devonport in Tasmania. A business colleague invited me along to his BNI Mersey Chapter meeting one early morning in March 2006.

I had never heard of this business concept, but I was curious to know more. I was so nervous, shy and timid back then, but I went along and it just all ‘clicked together in my head’. I could see the benefits straight away to my business which was called ‘Wow House Spruce-ups’. During the next 5 years I held every leadership position in BNI and became a
passionate and experienced networker.

On 17th March 2012, I commenced my very own independent weekly networking group called Networkers Referral Group known as NRG. I wanted to have a networking group that catered for the needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs. I quickly realised that ‘One Size Does Not Fit All’. Small business owners are hard working and a determined lot and they work very long hours for little reward until their businesses begin to ‘take off’. So I set about learning how to network professionally and well.

These are the 10 Common Mistakes Business Networkers Make in their quest to grow their businesses. I hope you find these tips helpful.

  1. Forget to bring business cards along to a networking meeting
  2. Arrive late at the event, flustered and apologetic.
  3. Pounce on people at the event and shove your business card in their hand
  4. Talk too much about yourself and your business
  5. Do not dress appropriately for a business event
  6. Hang out with your friends at the event and do not mix with other people
  7. Don’t look people in the eye when you are talking to them
  8. Have a ‘Taker’s Attitude’ rather than ‘How can I help you’ attitude
  9. Forget to follow up the next day the people that you connected with
  10. ‘Spam’ people that you met at the event the next day. Totally Uncool.

Networking takes time and practice. You do not become an ‘overnight sensation’.

I suggest that you find a couple of business friends that attend different networking events each month and ask them if you can come along to their next events. They will be pleased of your company and you can then watch what they do and you will gradually grow in confidence and ability quickly when you have someone else who will help you.

Go to a networking event with a purpose

Do not go to just ‘hang out’ and can say ‘ I went to a networking event today’. This is a waste of time and energy and you will not achieve any real results by attending.

I always attend an event with 2-3 different business categories that I would like to connect with. Here are a few of my tips to ensure that your networking event is a success:

  • Greet the host/hostess when you arrive by name and give her your business card. Ask, Does she know any business people in one of the categories that you are looking for. If yes, ask for an introduction to that person and take it from there
  • If you see a friend at the event, ask them if they know anyone in one of your categories there and ask for an introduction
  • Introduce yourself to people that are standing alone, they will be very grateful for you taking an interest in them. Ask them if there is anyone that they would like to meet. If so, introduce them.
  • I am only looking for 2-3 quality new introductions at each event. I do not need a heap of people’s business cards. Be strict with yourself here. I always go for quality, not numbers. So much better when this is your Mindset.
  • Always thank your host/hostess when you leave and let them know that you met some really interesting people today and it was a successful event for you. Ask them if they could please let you know when they are having their next event. Ask to go on their mailing list. They will think so highly of you if you do this one simple thing. You will stand out from the crowd.
  • Now the most important thing to do now is follow up. Follow Up Is King. When you get home, add them into your phone or your CRM system. Phone them in the morning and set up a Coffee Meeting with the people that you wish to connect with
    that you met the previous day. You will be only about 1 in 10 people that do this.

Networking is a Commitment

Networking changed the way that I did business forever, way back 11 years ago. I made a decision then, that this was the way that I wanted to build my business and I have learnt how to conduct myself in a very professional manner. I build relationships of trust with people that I meet. I want to know how I can help them and how I can connect them to other people that
they would like to do business with.

If you follow the simple steps outlined in this Blog, I know that you will become an
experienced and confident networker as well.

I did not know 11 years ago when I was living in Devonport that one day I would own my very own independent networking group. I just took one day at a time and learnt the skills from others that were more experienced than I was.

Is it hard you may ask? Yes at times it is. But it also brings so many amazing people into your life that you would never meet otherwise.

If you are a small business owner now, you will be amazed at how it can help you grow your business and become very successful.

Be Bold and become a Successful Business Networker.

Best Networking Business and How to Get Gold Partners

Best Networking Business and How to Get Gold Referral Partners

When I grew up in a small country town at Roberts Creek near Maclean in NSW, everyone knew their neighbours. Social life revolved around our small primary school at South Arm. The primary school was the hub for community life. If you needed help on your farm or work done, you simply called your neighbour to help you. It was a community that cared about one another.

Now we live in cities and big towns and we do not often know even our neighbours and the ‘sense of community’ rarely exists today. So now we have a choice that we can make. We can actually choose the people that we want to do business with.

We can choose carefully people that we can connect with and build our OWN Business Community. Build a community around us that shares our values; integrity and honesty. People that we can trust in business and people that we are happy to recommend to our clients for their products and services. The ones that we know that will treat our clients just like we do. That value ‘old fashioned service’ and truly care about their clients’ needs.

But How Do We Find These Business People? I call them my Business Gold Partners. Attributes of a Gold Business Referral Partner:

  • Honesty in all of their business dealings
  • High integrity in business
  • Their word is their bond
  • They care about the service they deliver to their clients
  • They are self disciplined and well liked
  • They are involved in their communities
  • They have a ‘givers mentality’
  • They form strong bonds of friendship with others
  • They ‘hang out’ with other successful business people

Identify business people that you already know that have some of these above attributes. Make a list of 6 of these people. Then select 3 people that share similar clients to what your business does. They would normally meet your clients either before or after you do. These are the ones that we are now going to target as your Business Gold Referral Partner.

Next Steps:

  • Research each person using the following tools: Google their business; look up their LinkedIn profile; look up their Facebook pages-personal and business; ask a trusted business friend if they know them.
  • Check out on LinkedIn if you have a mutual connection. If so ask for an introduction to the person that you are targeting. Ask your friend to set up a Coffee Meeting to introduce you to one another and commence getting to know one another.
  • Set up a second coffee meeting and ask your new business associate to meet up with you within the next week to talk specifically on how you can help one another. How you can refer clients to one another and what is your best client and what sort of clients that are not suitable for your business.
  • Now is the best part of it all. Building a business relationship of trust and friendship. Learn about their hobbies, their family and their business achievements. These are all the things that build a deep trust with one another.
  • Invite your new business associate to a networking event, a business event, a business social event and show that you care about them and their world.
  • Now is the time to ‘roll up your sleeves’ and take this business relationship to Gold Referral Partner Status. You need to make the first move here. You need to find one of your clients that you can refer and connect to them.
  • Set up a Coffee Meeting and invite your client and your new Gold Referral Partner along to the meeting and introduce them to one another. You are the person that they both now trust. In my experience, 90% of business done this way will lead to a new sale and client for your Gold Referral Partner.
  • Your Gold Referral Partner will now want to reciprocate. This is human nature. So they will now be looking at their database to find a great client for you. You have taught them how to refer, so they will do the same for you by connecting you with their client over a Coffee Meeting. For you a new client is now been developed.

I suggest that you meet together once a month for a coffee and discuss which of your clients are suitable for you to refer to each other. This will not all happen overnight, but it will happen. Gold Referral Partners are for the long term, they require patience and persistence and trust to build. But these relationships are in the long term, the highest quality business friendships that you can ever make.

In my next Blog I will be exploring the link between Gold Partners and your Gold Clients…

Leadership in Business-Is This Really Important?

downloadYes I believe it is essential to have leadership qualities in business. Strong business ethics, honesty and determination help you stand out from your competitors.

You cannot run a successful business without strong leadership qualities and having integrity in business. People need to trust you.

I am going to look at the different aspects of being a great leader in your business this week.

How being a strong leader is doing, not just talking.

These are the 7 aspects I will be writing a Blog about this week.

  1. Are you a good leader in your business?
  2. Do you have a good Business Mentor who can help you?
  3. Do you lead by example and are you responsible and reliable leader?
  4. Do you care and appreciate your people?
  5. Do you acknowledge your staff’s efforts?
  6. Do you help your staff to develop leadership qualities?
  7. Who can you promote to a leadership position in your company?

Leadership in business is expected of us, but do we really know how this will impact on our staff and our clients. If you are the owner of a business, whether it is as a: Solo Entrepreneur; Sole Trader; Partnership; Company or Corporation, people rely on us to make wise and just decisions.

Is this easy, well quite frankly no it is not. It takes time,  patience and a teachable spirit to learn how to be a great leader. It is not a solo effort. You do need the help of a trusted friend or Business Mentor to help you on your journey. Just when you think you have solved the current problem, a fresh one arises usually without much warning. This is when we need the advise of a trusted adviser.

How do we go about ensuring that we are making the right decisions in our business? I believe it is essential in business to have a wise Business Mentor who is not involved in your business, but who knows you well. Who has your best interest at heart and is keen to help you grow and prosper. Who thinks seriously about the problems you are facing and that you trust enough to listen to and then implement the strategies that you have worked through together. It is a partnership of trust that is developed over time. They will be able to identify solutions, that you may not have even thought of.

A good Business Mentor will always act honestly with high integrity and support you in your decision making process. They will be someone who will be available to you when you need them and not let you down.

We will explore these other aspects of being a great leader this week. It does not happen overnight, but with a patience and ‘Can Do Attitude’ you will be amazed at how far you will go and grow with good support in place.

I look forward to sharing more of my ideas around leadership in business tomorrow. Stay tuned…

 

Rose Gibbens – Director Networkers Referral Group

For more information, please go to: www.nrggroups.com.au

 

Networking Tip – Be a Strong Leader

Leaders-InspirationalIn networking circles with so many marketing gurus, get rich quick schemes and people professing to be experts in lots of different fields of business, who is the real deal? 

This is often really confusing & risky when you are not sure.

Let’s look at these 3 points about a great and inspirational leader and explore them.

  • What do you look for in a leader?
  • Where is their proof?
  • Who are their followers?

What Do You Look For In a Leader?

The first thing I look for in a leader, is pretty obvious, the ability to lead.  Sounds simple doesn’t it? But stop and think about this for a minute.

If a leader is not out front and is ‘hands on in their business’ what credibility do they really have? I like to know that this person can connect with me and with other people that are in their business. Who knows their clients and other connected businesses or organisations to them. If they are always in the safety of their office and have others always out there training and speaking on their behalf and they are not visible, they lack credibility with me.

Respect must be earned, it cannot be bought and it is not transferable, someone else can’t do it for you.

You must earn it yourself.

A great friend of mine, Dan Garlick – My BNI Director in Tasmania once told me something I have never forgotten over 10 years ago now. “People will always willingly follow a strong leader. So always make sure Rose, you are a strong leader that others will follow”.

I have since that day actively tried to be that strong leader.

Where Is Their Proof?

Leaders-NooneWatching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A big part of being a good leader is their integrity in business in what they do and say. Is this congruent?

The proof is not only in what they say, how they say it and if what they say = what they actually do.

There is an old saying from my childhood ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’, meaning it must not only look good it must also taste good.

As a leader we must ‘taste good’. We must be the person that others will aspire to want to follow.

We must be believable and real. We cannot hide in our office, we must be there with our people, interacting, guiding and nurturing our people-our followers, members, guests, clients and business associates. All of those people around us that really matter.

As a strong leader we must be real.

Who Are Their Followers?

This is where the proof really lies!

Passion never fails. It is what drives us, always striving to grow as a leader and be the best we can possibly  be.

The quality of people that surround a leader in leadership positions in their organisation are a true reflection of their true leadership. A true leader is very passionate about their business and they have clear goals that they share with their people. The same values must be ‘handed down’ so that the same message is clearly heard.

A truism that I learnt early on in my networking journey is ‘That good people will not stay with a weak leader’.

Being a leader is not an easy thing to do.

We will not always be popular. We will not always please everyone.

But for those of us that aspire to a leadership role in the business world, we need to stand tall and proud.

Be the leader that others will willingly follow…
Passion never fails

Follow-Up is King

follow up on business leadsIn eleven years of professional networking, I have found that this is one of the most common mistakes people make. They make a great first impression with a business person that they meet at an event and then they forget to contact them again.

Follow up builds trust and ensures that your prospective client knows that you value them and their business and that you would like to go on and build a relationship of trust with them and are keen to do business together.

A great opportunity that currently exists to make a new client is often lost forever.

8 Simple Steps to Convert More Clients

  1. At the networking event, get their business card and ask them if you could give them a phone call in the morning to set up a coffee meeting with them in the next few days.
  2. When you get home, you need to record this person and the event. A CRM system is great for this or an Excel Spread Sheet. I use Insightly CRM for mine. File your cards in a folder or a box. I always write the date and event on the back of the card.
  3. First thing in the morning, call them to arrange a coffee meeting, ask them to choose a café close to their work and arrange a day and time that is suitable to you both.
  4. Phone or email them the day before to check that they are still available to meet you for your coffee meeting and say that you are looking forward to meeting up with them and getting to know more about them and their business.
  5. SMS them about 8:00am in the morning of your coffee meeting as a final reminder. How many times have you turned up after checking in the day before and the people have forgotten or a last minute event has happened?
  6. When you meet for your first coffee meeting, it is about building a relationship of trust and finding out about them and their business and how you can assist them. Do not do a ‘hard sell’ at this time.
  7. Look up people in both of your databases that may be a good fit for one another that you can introduce each other to. Set up a coffee meeting for a month’s time and at that coffee meeting bring an introduction, referral or connection that they are looking for to the meeting. This will build immediate credibility and they will know that you are truly interested in being a business associate that they can trust.
  8. Doing business together is now that next natural step.

Rose Gibbens is Director of Networkers Referral Group and is a networking professional in Brisbane.

Phone Rose on 0478 201 866 or Email: rose@nrggroups.com.au Web: www.nrggroups.com.au

If you would like further information about Follow Up or Networking in Brisbane, Rose is available to chat to. If you would like to visit one of Rose’s Four networking groups in Brisbane, a Free Guest Pass is available on request.

Building a Business Hub

Building Your Referral Business Hub

“Building Your Business Is Firstly About Building Your Team Around You” – Rose Gibbens

  • Are you a Sole Trader or a Small Business Owner, but you do not have staff yet?
  • How can you build your business without taking on staff and extra debt you may well ask?
  • Well lean in and listen carefully, because I will share my secret with you……
  • THE SECRET is in building your own Referral Business Hub. You may have never heard of this expression, or you may not know what it actually means, well then let me explain this concept to you.

I first learnt of building a Referral Business Hub when I was Brisbane South’s Regional Manager for The Referral Institute. I was doing my training course to become an accredited trainer with The Referral Institute five years ago at that time. This made so much sense to me that I immediately implemented this into my business. You can easily do the same in your business by following these 7 easy steps.

Seven Simple Steps to building a Referral Business Hub

Step 1: You select four business people that share the same or a similar client base to you, that you know and trust and that have high integrity in business.

Step 2: You then set up a Coffee Meeting with them and discuss the concept of having them as your Referral Partner (someone who you can send quality clients to) and building a strong business relationship with.

Step 3: You sit down and talk to each other and write down the following:

  1. What services or products do you each offer?
  2. Who is your ideal client?
  3. What services or products do the clients require?
  4. What words or phrases do they say that would indicate that they may need your Referral Partner’s services?
  5. How do I best introduce my client to my Referral Partner?
  6. What other businesses do our clients see before and after us? 


Step 4:
 You agree to meet for a Coffee Meeting monthly to grow your relationship and to keep in touch with each other. To look at different ways to bring a new connection or client to one another at this meeting. To ensure that you pre-qualify the client prior to sending through a referral, so that the client knows that your Referral Partner will be calling them to chat and help them.

Step 5: You just Do It! Go through your data base of good clients and look for the people that are ‘a good fit’ for your Referral Partner and put them in touch with each other. The most effective way is to set up a 3 Way Coffee Meeting and introduce them to each other. The success rate in doing this is about 90% to a closed sale. You will find by implementing this into your business, you will soon feel confident to refer your Gold Clients to one another. This is when second tier referrals begin to happen. Your referred clients, then refers their best clients….

Business Hub Blog Photo 3Step 6: You then repeat this process three more times to establish YOUR Business Referral Hub. If you have 4 Referral Partners that you spend quality time with each month and you regularly send qualified referrals to, you will be amazed how quickly this will help you build a strong base of Referred Clients for you. Remember-The best clients are referred Clients.

Step 7: You may be asking, will this work for my business? Well the answer in my opinion is yes, it will. You just need to sit down and think, who sees my clients before and after me. Usually these will be the best Referral Partners for your Referral Business Hub.

If you would like to know more about how to build your Referral Business Hub, then come along to one of my four Networkers Referral Groups weekly meetings for a Free Guest Visit.

Call Rose Gibbens (Director) on 0478 201 866 Email: rose@nrggroups.com.au
Website: www.nrggroups.com.au and go to Weekly Meetings Tab to find a NRG group close to you.

 

Networking and Nurturing Your Prospective Clients

business-friendship“Nurturing takes place before harvesting”… Rose Gibbens

Networking is one of the very first steps in obtaining new clients.

Learning how to network effectively is the key to building a strong base of referred clients and increasing your cash flow.

Networking is a step by step process of building trust and confidence in you as a person. Your clients need to trust you and what you say in order to want to do business with you.

This is done by using ‘Touch Points’ to build credibility with your prospective clients before they then become your clients. Each time you interact with your prospective clients you build trust with them.    It will often take 6-8 ‘Touch Points’ before a prospective client will trust you enough and what you are saying, to now do business with you.

Being a Passionate Networker I have grown my business in this way. These are the steps that I have followed in growing my network of members and Strategic Alliance Partnerships. The ‘Touch Points’ that I use to build a strong relationship of trust are as follows:

  1. Meet at a networking event
  2. Go online and look up their details on Google Search, LinkedIn and Facebook to find out more about their business. This will give you background information about them and their business before your meeting.
  3. Follow up the following day with an email inviting the prospective client to have a Coffee Meeting with you at a nearby café to them
  4. Meet with them to get to know one another and build trust at a Coffee Meeting. This is an informal meeting and is a non-pressure meeting.
  5. Send them a LinkedIn and Facebook invitation to connect with you and start interacting via social media
  6. Send a thank you note in the mail thanking them for the meeting and outlining the things you discussed
  7. Call and set up a second appointment to specifically discuss how you can assist them
  8. At the second appointment it is now the time to look at how you can now do business with each other and mostly by this point they are ready to do business with you

Balance your businessNurturing takes time – but the money will follow…

Trust and respect has now been built and you will find that your prospective client will now be very open to becoming a client who wants to do business with you. It is a much slower process than the ‘hard sell’ but it will build you long term clients that will seek you out as a trusted business associate.

Your harvest will be a strong base of referred clients that speak well of you to their own business associates.

Rose Gibbens-Director Networkers Referral Group