Friday, February 18, 2011

Another Guest Post - Meet More People by Reno Levinson


This is a real treat. Reno is sharing this blog with us as a teaser to his forthcoming book.

I think many small and large businesses have lost the importance of this business tactic.



Meet More People 

Most small businesses derive the majority of their clients from within a 10 mile radius of their location. Even if you're an online business (with very few exceptions) there are prospects just outside your door. Face-to-face networking is the perfect way to build important relationships in a short period of time. You can build rapport and communicate more information in a 20 minute face-to-face contact then you could over a month's worth of emails and social networking with the same person.  The stumbling block with face-to-face networking is that it requires you to physically go someplace and present yourself to one or more people. For many people this is a great effort. Where do I go? Who should I talk to? Is it worth it?

Go to a chamber of commerce meeting, school event, sporting event or any place where people are gathering. If it is a big event don't try to meet everyone, pick out a few people and have a meaningful interaction. One thing I have found about networking is that it is almost always worth it, if you do it well, this typically entails being genuine. Be yourself. Be friendly and be helpful. Ask questions of people you meet and be sure to walk away with an idea of how you might help them. In the course of conversation when you have a chance to speak about your business try to tell a story or share an anecdote about how your product or service helped a client. You might say, "This week one of my clients asked me if I could help him with ... it was perfect because we do that sort of thing all the time." The facts of your business in the context of a story are easier to remember than a series of random facts.

When you conclude your visit, your final words should be, "I'll send you that article; I'll be sure to introduce you to him; or I'll forward that information". If this is your final comment it confirms you were asking questions; looking to be helpful and plan to follow up.  

Be sure to hand a business card to everyone you meet and with whom you have had some social interaction. This reinforces who you are, your name, your business name and your contact information. Never try to sell your product or service at a networking or social event. Certainly tell people what you do but save the sales presentation for another time.

A successful networking event is walking away having met one or more people you know something about who may be a good prospect or resource. They should know something about you, have your contact information, and be in a position to consider your service or recommend you to someone. This done, you have successfully expanded your network.

Reno Lovison has a marketing company specializing in the production of video for the web. He is the author of “Turn Your Business Card Into Business.”

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.