Successful Networking – How To Attract Clients And Grow Your Business Through Live Events

Successful networking is key to getting a solid, enthusiastic client base.

It is so much easier to connect with potential clients who would benefit from working with us at life events and in personal groups than through social media or online listings. Meeting potential clients face to face, having the time to shake their hand, make a personal connection and establish a relationship is invaluable.

I know that as transformational entrepreneurs, the word “sales” is often a trigger. Many people feel that they should “attract” clients without having to sell or market. 

But in truth, if you want to be successful, it would help to be willing to expand this view. Your intention determines your experience, and if you go to an event with the intention not to sell or market, but just to meet likeminded people and see what happens, then the people who are actively looking for help will have a hard time finding you. If you are out there with the intention to attract clients, then your potential clients can find you easily. Does this resonate with you?

You might want to consider releasing your resistance to getting the word that you are trying to attract clients out there, with EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques Tapping. There are free Tapping charts on this blog. Please feel fee to explore!

What not to do on networking events:

However, there is a huge pitfall that I warn all my business clients of, and I want to share this with you:

When you attend networking meetings, the common belief is that you go to get referrals.

Networking for referrals is a strategy that works well for companies who have well known, established services to offer.

Auto Mechanics, CPAs or Real Estate Agents would be some good examples.

However, for transformational entrepreneurs, coaches and healing professionals, this strategy usually doesn’t pay of at all.

Here is why:

There are two “hats” that you can wear when you join a networking meeting: Your “sales hat” and your “marketing hat”.

You can’t wear both – you have to decide so you attract the right people to talk to.

Three reasons why referral marketing is the wrong strategy for networking events:

1. In your business as a transformational entrepreneur, you will have a very hard time finding people who are willing to refer you and your specific technique, unless they have experienced your gifts and talents as a client first.

When you go to networking meetings, and talk about what you do to people who don’t understand, you will spend the evening “selling” that your technique works, scrambling to get people to believe you.

So you are not selling your services, you are selling the validity of your techniques or modalities.

At the end of the day, you will have some great conversations that lead themselves to friendships and more interest (hopefully), but no new paying clients.

2. In addition, you will have to try to “sell” people into “selling” your services to people they know (=leads).

But they still don’t know what exactly you stand for, so why would they put their reputation out on the line and risk the relationship with the clients they referred?

Business people don’t do that.

3. When you wear your marketing hat to get referrals, instead of your sales hat, what you are actually doing is trying to avoid having to sell your services yourself. Maybe you don’t like selling, so you establish good relationships with people who know people, hoping that they will step in and become free sales people for you.

Why would they want to do that?

They don’t own your business, they don’t really understand your business, so everything they could do to help you is on the level of doing you a favor (a few exceptions might be there, but this is the general situation in our field).

Remember that “transformational entrepreneur” doesn’t really mean much to most people in the business world, and they would not go out into their client base and refer people to you, unless they feel that they are truly knowledgable and have experienced results with you that they want to communicate.  

Makes sense?

 

Successful Networking to get clients:

So what should you do instead?

Instead, whenever you go to a networking meeting, join a club or talk to people who might relate to and be interested in your work, wear your “sales hat”.

Try to see everybody in the room as a potential client.

Don’t worry about referrals, worry about finding people who would like to work with you 1:1. Even if you meet very influential people, try to see them as clients.

The more influential they are, the lesser the chances that they stand up for you and refer their friends and family to you, after just having spoken briefly in a networking meeting. You are not asking for favors, you are asking for business, remember?

 

Your best referrals will come from raving fans, people who have experienced first hand what you are escapable of.

In my experience, whenever I go to a group or meeting, I meet several people who would greatly benefit from working with me.

I don’t look for people who will refer me to someone they know, I look for people who personally need my help.

This is a much faster way to grow your business through networking events than looking for referrals.

I hope this helps your business success!

Please leave a comment below!

Love

Ingrid

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10 Responses to “Successful Networking – How To Attract Clients And Grow Your Business Through Live Events”

  1. Annette M. Romeo January 16, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks Ingrid, makes a lot of sense. I’ve been attending meetings geared towards vets and their families. My goal here is always to try to make a connection with someone in the VA. I’ve made connections, but have yet to get someone to give it a try. I think the shift to seeing them as someone I can help first will be a step in the right direction.

  2. Absolutely, Annette! Just help those who you want to help. Getting EFT into the VA is not just a clinical decision, it is a political decision as well. There is a lot of red tape there, stemming from situations that we haven’t caused.
    In addition, most Veterans trust each other more than they trust outsiders, so they will be more willing to refer to others when they now what you can do first hand.
    Please continue your wonderful work and keep me posted!
    Love
    Ingrid

  3. Thank you, Ingrid for posting this! It is helpful to keep focused on what you want.

    Blessings to you,
    Kimberly

  4. Thanks Ingrid. You comments go a long way toward humanizing the networking experience. Focusing on value rather than numbers is a great way to ensure success. I would also suggest joining an Expert Network like Gerson Lehrman Group, Maven Research or any number of other specialized expert networks.

  5. Ingrid, great comments! I learned alot! I do have a question. What do you feel is more important? Building a good reputation for you and your company? Or, Simply just letting them know what you do, and how you can help? The thing I personally love about this most though, is that it brings back the human element to marketing.
    Thanks again!

  6. That is such a great question! You build your reputation on your authenticity. People have to know, like and trust you to want to learn more about you and work with you.
    There are events that are clearly just for socializing, and it might be a turnoff for the attendees when somebody tries to “push” their own business. At the same time, it can be a huge opportunity to make valuable connections that you can build upon later.

    People remember you for what you can do for THEM, not for what you do. So getting to know your potential clients and making yourself recognizable as a person who can possibly help them solve a problem is very important.
    Please share more of your thoughts!
    Ingrid

  7. Maria DePasquale February 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I have been practicing tapping for 2 years, on myself and with elders in the place that I work. I have now begun teaching introductory classes in the community at a local healing center. Is it appropriate to tell people that I am willing to see them 1:1 during the training? I was hoping they would ask me… but that hasn’t happened. Perhaps I need to be more confident??? and invite them??
    And how do I determine my fee?
    Thanks for your generous spirit.

  8. Dear Maria, thank you for spreading the word about EFT! Well…if you don’t tell them that you’d be glad to work with them 1:1, …how are they going to know?
    There is nothing wrong with asking people to work with you. See it as sharing with them what you feel passionate about, and know that only those who feel connected with you and would like to work with you will pick you up on your offer or suggestion. I’d be glad to do a 20 min free consultation with you, where we can strategize a bit more about how you see yourself and your future with EFT. Just email me, and we can set up a time! Love
    Ingrid

  9. Thanks Troy. I appreciate your comments and suggestions!

  10. How do you explain to people “what you do?” as an EFt practitioner? Is it better to focus on a specific group of people (ie. I help chiropractors or therapists_ to serve, or to champion a very specific topic (ie. marriage, or depression, or fears, etc)?

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