Networking Gets Referrals!
By Donna J Thomas | Submitted On July 02, 2015
Every time I drive past my neighborhood soccer field, I remember my days as a soccer mom, when a common topic of conversation among parents on the sidelines was: “What do you do?”
In my local networking meeting, I introduce myself with my One-Minute Message. Both of these scenarios present ideal opportunities to market my business.
To create a referral-based holistic health practice, get out in public where people gather in groups, to meet your Ideal Clients and people who can refer them to you. Whether you educate people about your work in casual, everyday settings or in a structured meeting, networking is one of the most effective ways to grow and succeed as a holistic practitioner. Use networking opportunities to create more visibility for your holistic health practice and attract ideal clients. Here are 8 ways to get the most out of your networking opportunities:
1. Understand the purpose of networking. Aim for developing long-term relationships with your fellow networkers, not trying to get referrals or sell your services immediately. Expect the know-like-trust factor to develop over time, not overnight!
2. Network with purpose. Spend your networking time wisely. Set a specific goal for each meeting you attend – for example, meet 5 new people, or make 2 referrals, or introduce 2 people who you think could help each other.
3. Use your personality as an advantage. You can be successful at networking, regardless of whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. When you’re authentically yourself, you’ll feel more comfortable, people will appreciate your natural personality, and you will get better results.
4. Ask other people about themselves before talking about your business. The business relationship truly begins when you take genuine interest in others’ needs. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to share about your services later on – especially if it’s a viable contact for you.
To create a referral-based practice, you need to get out and meet your Ideal Clients and people who can refer them to you. As one of the most effective ways to grow and succeed, networking can help you market and attract clients – whether you’re wearing your soccer mom shirt or a business suit! Here are more ways to make the most of your networking opportunities:
5. Introduce yourself with something compelling that immediately gives someone a clear idea of who you help and how you help them. Be proactive – share your solution and specifically how it can help people or solve a problem. Instead of “I’m Donna Thomas and I’m a massage therapist,” I say, “I help people manage chronic pain so they can feel better and function better.”
6. Offer to support others. When you ask people how you can support them, your helpfulness will give them another reason to recommend you. Offer to help others first and without expecting an immediate return, which could come to you later. Pay it forward!
7. Present yourself as knowledgeable, confident and caring. Speak with confidence about your work, but don’t preach. Remember – people buy solutions, not techniques. Instead of trying your service, get them to talk about their problem.
8. Follow-up with all interested people within 48 hours. If you don’t follow up, there is no point to networking in the first place. Follow-up develops know-like-trust — the foundation of long-term relationships. Turning referrals into clients requires follow-up. Take full advantage of the connections you make when networking!
The more successful your networking is, the more successful your business will be! Networking is one of the most effective ways to grow and succeed, whether you educate people about your business in a casual or settings or in a structured group.
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