“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. 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. 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 clients will trust you and what you are saying to want to 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 often use to build a strong relationship of trust are as follows:
- Meet at a networking event
- Go online and look up their details on Google Search, LinkedIn and Facebook to find out more about their business, to give you background information about them and their business before your meeting
- Follow up the following day with an email inviting the prospective client to have a Coffee Meeting
- Meet with them to get to know one another and build trust at a Coffee Meeting
- Send them a LinkedIn and Facebook invitation to connect with you and start interacting via social media
- Send a thank you note in the mail thanking them for the meeting and outlining what was discussed
- Call and set up a second appointment to specifically discuss how you can assist them
- At the second appointment it is now the time to look at how you can now do business with each other
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