Stop Going to Networking Events… Unless You Start Doing These 5 Things!
Going to networking events can be a horrible waste of time for coaches. To make matters worse, as coaches we risk valuable time and money going to these functions with a zero rate of return on our investment.
Unless one considers a few carrot sticks with ranch dressing and some club soda suitable payback for one’s efforts!
On the other hand, networking events can become a rich gold mine of new clients, adding your bottom line and building up your bank balance.
Why the big difference?
It depends who you to talk to…
Let me explain…
When I first started my business, I began attending local networking events because, well, that’s what new coaches and consultants are supposed to do… right? More often than not, I’d leave empty handed and discouraged. (Except for one particular person I met, who I will tell you about later.)
As time went on, I learned how to make the most of these events and began meeting a least one or two legitimate prospects each time I went to one.
That’s what I want to share with you now…
I began doing five simple things:
1. I decided that I would not attend an event unless I knew that at a significant proportion of the expected attendees would match the profile of my ideal client. How would I know that? By contacting the event organizer in advance and asking. If they can’t give you a clear answer, steer clear.
2. I learned to spend the bulk of my time talking to people who I didn’t know yet. Why? Because most coaches who attend these types of events tend to visit with people they already know, as opposed to people they have not met before. Call it staying in one’s comfort zone if you like, but mostly talking to one’s friends and acquaintances rarely nets new clients.
3. Whenever possible, I actively sought out opportunities to be a speaker at those networking events. That way, all the attendees learned who I was!
4. I stopped giving out business cards and instead started asking for THEIR business cards. Why? That puts me in control. Think about all the people who promised to go to your website and probably never did. I offer them a free copy of one of my PDF books as an incentive. Then, they are on my email list and in my funnel.
5. I “traded up” to attending trade association meetings. Trade associations offer greater opportunities to meet new prospects. That is generally because people attend trade association events to learn something as opposed to prospect for new business. They are also out of their everyday element and tend to be more relaxed and open to new ideas. Most trade associations have local chapters as well as regional and national events. I’ve created a video on this.
Back to that “particular person” I met almost 30 years ago at an early morning networking event. I decided to talk to a stranger, someone I didn’t know instead of the guy who invited me. She turned out to be a delightful lady. Now nearly three decades later, we’re still very happily married!
Questions or comments about this post? Contact me at [email protected]
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