For any business to be successful, it has to have clients to buy its products/services. There are lots of ways you can meet new clients, for example, you can create an engaging website, you can advertise your business, you can offer discounts/incentives to new clients, and you can network.
How to get clients by networking
Although you shouldn’t use networking as a selling opportunity, it is a great way to meet new people with whom you can talk about yourself and your business. One of the best ways to get clients is by networking because even if the person you’re talking to doesn’t become a client themselves, they might refer you to someone else. Word of mouth is a fantastic marketing tool and networking helps you to take better advantage of that.
Where to find new clients networking
To begin to find new clients networking, you need to take the right approach. First, you need to think about who you want to network with, then you need to set goals and decide what you want to achieve. There are a few different networking approaches you can take. You can:
- Use your existing network to help you to expand upon your network. Attend events with people you know or arrange lunch meetings etc. with people in your network, asking them to invite people in their network.
- Keep in touch with previous colleagues and other professionals you have networked with in the past, and as with above, arrange meetings with them and professionals in their network.
- Use online networking opportunities, such as Linked In and other social media sites, to connect with people outside of your existing network.
- Attend networking events. Find suitable networking clubs to join. Different events will allow you to connect with different people in various situations. You’ll need to remind yourself who you want to connect with to find the best club for you. Some networking clubs, such as the Phoenix Business Club, host a variety of different events, so you can get clients by networking in an environment that suits you.
Tips to get clients by networking
If you run a business, or work as a business person, you can use every interaction you have as a networking opportunity. To find new clients networking, you need to be prepared to share your contact details, to answer questions about your business and to engage the people you speak to. To help you to get clients by networking, here are some tips:
- Carry business cards wherever you go. When you’re at a networking event and someone asks for your contact details, the easiest way to provide this information is through business cards. Business cards make you look professional and they help you to increase brand awareness.
- Be friendly and approachable. The point of a networking event is to connect with other people, if you want to do this effectively, you need to be friendly and approachable. You need to invite people into conversation, introduce yourself and look receptive to being approached.
- Set a goal for each networking event. A good example of a goal you could set yourself is to meet five people or more at the event. This not only motivates you to get the most out of the event, but it also encourages you to move between people at an event, instead of spending all your time with one person.
- Try one or two new groups each month. It’s always a good idea to try new events, especially if the ones you’ve already tried haven’t yielded the results you wanted.
- Don’t sit straight down or appear to want to keep to yourself. Talk to people and actively participate in conversations, look like you want to interact, even if you’re nervous. Appearances are everything and if you appear to not want to talk to people, they will be more reluctant to approach you.
- Don’t just sit by people you know. It can be tempting to spend your time at the event speaking to people you know, but doing that closes you off to meeting new people. Don’t ignore the people you know, spend some time with them, but don’t spend all your time with them.
- Remember, you’re there to network, not to sell yourself. If you spend all your time talking about yourself and trying to sell yourself, you might find people lose interest. Networking is just like any conversation, for it to work it needs to be two-sided.
- Ask people questions. One of the best ways to show people you are interested in them is to ask them questions and learn as much about them as you can. Be interested in other people’s businesses, ask them questions and engage on a deeper level.
- Give back as much as you get from the event. If you’ve networked properly, if you’ve engaged people in conversation and asked them questions, you will have given back to the event, try to make sure you give back as much as you get, so everyone benefits.
What not to do when you’re trying to get clients through networking
Here are some things you should not do when you’re trying to get clients through networking:
- Don’t try to build yourself up by bringing other people down.
- Don’t pester people.
- Don’t be impersonal.
- Don’t just talk about work
- Don’t just talk about yourself