When my clients ask me… “What can i do to get more customers?” I ask them back- “What are you doing to network yourself?”
The power of networking is unmatched by any other sales tactic. It is true that everyone you know could supply you with so many valuable services. The people you know can be character references- a powerful tool at enhancing your reputation. The people you know can refer you to others, adding new clients to your retinue and becoming a source of free advertising!
Are you networking enough? Are you getting character references and free word-of-mouth advertising?
Build a system where people can easy communicate to the world that you are a good business person. Encourage recommendations in tweets, Facebook pages and places listings. Ask to display a picture and a quote from really good reviewers in your business and on your website. Getting reviews is not limited to your customers! Contact experts related to your industry, and ask them for their perceptions of your work. Doctors talking about doctors, for instance, is powerful marketing.
The highest aim is video. If a customer is a raving fan, see if they will make a review video- quality isn’t important. There is something genuine about a cell phone or webcam video from a customer, that is lost with a produced professional video.
You can never have too many reviews! Work to keep them coming, and keep them current. Work hard to keep your peers and your customers happy so your reviews stay positive.
Business to business networking is a high priority for me- being in a business that serves businesses in any capacity.
I like to hear what my peers are complaining about-and learn ways to better serve all businesses by learning their problems.
We run our detailed accounting on the 20th of every month. Right off, at least 15% of profits goes into marketing. We want to see our business keep growing! Out of that 15%, 5% goes to networking. We attend regular networking events, free photo shoots, and pay to entertain well-connected people. That investment sees immediate results. Every new person we meet, gives us a highly valued perception on our own image. About a quarter of the people we meet refer us to other business owners. These moments are integral to our growth, and we look forward to putting more money and time into this effort. It’s worth it!
What are you doing to network yourself? And how can you get more out of your networking efforts?