At a recent workshop I ran on how to get more from your networking, we talked about having an objective for each meeting you go to. This objective could be to meet new contacts, ask for help with a particular issue, to find a new supplier or even to catch up with your clients.
I used to go to a number of small, local networking events that don?t cost much to attend. After a while I realised that I wasn?t getting any new business from these groups, so I stopped going. Recently I?ve started going back to some of these meetings and the best thing I?m getting from them is being able to spend more time with some of my clients, who I don?t see very often, or who I only usually speak to on the phone. Spending time with them at networking events is a great way to develop the relationship and to get to know more about their businesses in a really relaxed atmosphere. There?s no pressure to ?sell? to them because they?re already clients; yet it?s easy to spot opportunities just by asking them about their business and how it?s going.
There are two other great reasons for spending more time with your clients at networking meetings. The first is that they?re in a great place to tell other people ? potential clients ? at the meeting what you do, how you do it and how great you are; they can be your sales force. Secondly, you might find out that your clients are offering something like a new service you need or a workshop that you really want to attend.
It?s important to always measure your marketing, to make sure that you do more of what works and less of what doesn?t work. When you?re looking at what to measure, make sure you include contact with existing clients and building relationships with them, as well as the number of new clients you find. Nurture your current clients and you might be surprised by what they can do for you.
How do you keep in touch with your best clients?