If you know my story, you know that I filled two different practices by networking. Yet, some people get frustrated, expecting faster results from networking. So let me explain how to make the most of the process and set your expectations.
Networking is a lot like dating – and one of the best ways to attract clients.
I’m going to use an analogy to help make my point. The first time you meet someone, you have to get to know each other right? However, many clients who are frustrated with networking think they can get “married” on the first date, going from the first kiss directly to the marriage proposal. That’s not how things work.
With networking, it’s about collecting referral sources or potential clients, and then “romancing” them. Here are three easy ways to do this:
1. Add new contacts to your ezine list. Of course you do this with permission. Then every time you send out a newsletter, they will learn something new about you and your business, keeping you top-of-mind.
2. Start a warm letter campaign. Everyone knows at least 300 people by first name. When you send a personalized warm letter, you can help them talk to people about what you do. This helps contacts start generating referrals.
3. Send out warm letter updates. When you share your client success stories and what you have been up to, you create the impression of increase in your business. Obviously, you need permission from your clients or keep the examples anonymous to protect their privacy. Telling these stories helps people think of friends, family or colleagues who could benefit from your services.
You can also send:
A letter containing an interview with a client, which provides a case study
A testimonial from a satisfied client
An invitation to a teleclass
An update on new employees
Connecting with your contacts regularly will help them know exactly what you do, who you can help and what kind of success you are known for. This makes it easy for people to give you referrals so your network is really working for you.
None of this happens in an instant. It takes time and courtship. Romance your contacts so they naturally want to refer people to you. Once you understand that it takes time to get referrals, you will recognize the possibilities networking does provide and how well it builds on itself to fill your practice.
Your Client Attraction Assignment
If you’ve been frustrated that your networking activities aren’t producing the results you want, start working the system to romance your contacts. Write your warm letter, plan future letters and mark the calendar when you will be sending them out. This type of letter writing campaign builds awareness and relationships and can really pay off in referrals.