Networking is not just about going to networking events.
Some of the best networkers I’ve ever met rarely attend events. Going to events is only one of many ways to meet people to build your network of prospects, clients, and influencers.
I’ve dedicated my career to helping others build their referral networks, and I’ve discovered that there are 5 skills every successful networker has adopted.
According to a recent study from Nielsen, nearly 85 percent of all people trust referrals from someone they know, making referral marketing one of the most powerful tools you can have in your arsenal. And at the heart of building a referral-based business is forming an effective network.
But building your referral network isn’t easy — unless you have the right attitude and the right skills.
A referral mindset means that you embrace referrals and introductions as the best way to build your business. That means referrals stop becoming an occasional surprise that just happens every now and then while you focus on other (less successful) marketing tactics. Instead, they’re the main way you get new clients.
When you truly adopt this mindset, everything you do in your business will promote your goal of getting more high-quality referrals and introductions.
Successful networkers gauge their referability by a high-level of client loyalty and a regular stream of unsolicited referrals.
Your service must “wow” people enough to get them talking. You have to give them something to talk about. If you aren’t currently getting many unsolicited referrals, you need to re-evaluate your value proposition and your client relationships.
Successful networkers are clear on the demographic and psychographic attributes of their best prospects – who will become great clients. Most successful networkers have risen to the level where they can be selective as to who they take on as a client.
Forming a productive network requires the ability to see how others fit into their world and vice versa. Successful networkers look for others who can lead them directly to their ideal clients. They also look for respected influencers who have also formed their own productive networks.
It’s time to face the music: Your services aren’t for everyone! When you adopt a shotgun approach to your marketing, it’s hard to hit the bullseye and attract just the right clients into your business.
Narrowing your marketing focus to one or two well-defined target markets makes it a lot easier to establish a reputation and will substantially increase your referral business.
Targeting one or two well-defined markets will make it easier for your referral alliances to identify great prospects for you and talk about you in a way to peaks the prospect’s interest.
What do you think are the most important networking skills? I want to hear from you! Really! Let’s start a conversation and “share the wealth” of ideas. Please leave a comment or question below.
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