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.
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!