Growing up I remember being told, “You only live once . . . make it count.” The same goes for marketing – that initial encounter with a business prospect is crucial, because a first impression can make or break you. While engaging in networking, it is not the number of business cards you can collect, but rather the meaningful personal relationships you can establish – quality over quantity.
When meeting a new contact, it is better to ask questions that elicit further explanation than to ramble on about yourself, your business and the success you’ve had. Showing that you genuinely care and demonstrating interest in someone else helps to build trust. There is no limit to what type of interactions can lead to increased clientele, whether it is online or in the nearby coffee shop. Keep an open mind and use your day-to-day encounters to expand upon your business life.
According to Bob Burg, the author of Endless Referrals, “The typical person knows about 250 people, thus every time you meet one new person and develop a relationship, you’ve actually just increased your personal prospect list to a potential 250 people every single time. Each of these people knows, in turn, another 250 people or so. This means that you could gain access to a potential pool of 62,500.” How’s that for business networking made simple?
What has your company done to increase referrals and gain prospective clients? Have the techniques implemented proved to be successful?
Austin Williams is an outcomes-driven full service advertising, marketing, digital and public relations agency, creating ideas that inspire action for clients in healthcare, higher education, financial services, nonprofits and professional services.