It’s the age of social media. Everything’s done online. So why are physical networking groups growing in popularity?
The simple answer is we all crave connection. Really getting to know someone eye ball to eye ball in ways you could never do online in the virtual world.
Having attended groups for more years than I care to think about and both given and received significant business, I thought I’d share some insights which will help you generate more business.
You are there to generate more business, aren’t you? Of course you are. But the irony is the harder you try the less successful you’re likely to be.
Let me explain why.
All business eventually comes your way because your clients got to know you, like you and eventually trust you to deliver.
Your goal should not be to “sell”.
Your only goal when attending should be to form connections and start relationships which you’ll deepen over time. Hint: You need to keep turning up, participating and take a leadership position. As Woody Allen says, “80% is just showing up”.
Believe me you will stand out and be remembered is you follow this one piece of advice. Focus on the other person. Be interested not interesting.
When with someone remember you have two ears and one mouth. So listening rather than talking is the key. Concentrate on them. Ask questions about them, their business, their lives.
I’m sure you know what’s it’s like walking into a room knowing no one. Be a connector. If they’re new take them around and introduce them to others. Trust me, they’ll really appreciate the gesture.
And when you do share stuff about yourself, be authentic. As a new client put it to me this morning, she really appreciated how I talked about our own struggle in the beginning. What we went through, the ups and downs. It made us relatable. People want to know who you are, not what you do.
And remember, the meeting is only the first step in a long chain of trust building.
So following up is critical.
Ask for permission to put them on your mailing list. Regularly send them good quality material which will interest them. Keep your eyes open for others you could connect them with. Give first and then you will receive. It doesn’t work the other way round.
Rashid & Barbara.