A recent survey given by The Business Club Northants to its last 100 members included the question “What is your top reason for becoming a member?” and just under 40% answered ‘that it was to get more new business locally’.
The remaining 60% also included this reason as part of their top three reasons for networking pointing to the fact that we are all networking to get more business!
Therefore what is the best way for you to achieve this goal?
Your first task would be to visit as many networking groups in your locality to discover the one or maybe two whose format really suits your business. Your initial choice might be governed by the times or the locality of their meetings as the majority tend to be breakfast meetings, several at lunchtime and only a small amount in the evenings.
Secondly make an assessment of the history of the groups – when were they established, how many members do they have, what is the average attendance at each meeting, how often do they meet and what type of businesses are members.
At their meetings are they really interested in creating business opportunities or is it just a social type of meeting?
Finally, assess the fees that you will be asked to pay (usually monthly) against the amount of new business that you will initially need to gain to recover this cost before you make a profit from your networking activities.
Having made your choice, then begin by attending all of the scheduled meetings using the time spent there to make as many ‘warm contacts’ as you can. Use the meeting attendance lists if one is provided, to record all of the businesses that you have met adding them to your CRM database.
The next move is to get back in touch with them and arrange a meeting to discuss doing some business together.
Once you have concluded some business together remember to ask them for a testimonial which they may give ‘live’ at a meeting and/or they may email it to you. Either way, ask for their permission to allow you to forward this to all of your existing customers and social media groups to help you get more enquiries which, incidentally also gives that company some free publicity!
Finally, always remember to ‘ask for referrals with every sale’ and as part of The Business Club Northants training, we reveal how to ask for TEN referrals with every sale that you make.
For more information call Mike Willis on 01604-529173