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It Is Not Just Your Monetary Investment, It Is Your Time Too.

Some Orange County business owners I meet complain that although they attend networking events, like ribbon cuttings and evening mixers, they don't actually get any business through them and question whether it is worth the effort given that there are many other marketing activities they could be investing their time and money in.

Clearly, networking isn't going to be an appropriate marketing tool for all businesses, but for many I believe it is. After all, if you needed a builder/ accountant/ IT specialist, wouldn't you prefer to deal with business owners you have met and spoken with rather than somebody you didn't know at all? Could you enhance your standing with your Clients by having a “network” of proven, 5-Star professional and personal service providers in the Orange County business community to refer to them in their hour of need? This is a key way to differentiate yourself from your competition and provide “added value” in the eyes of your Clients.

If you are going to use networking as a marketing tool for your business, as with any marketing tool you use, you first need a clear strategy in order to make it work well for you. I will share with you my ‘Top-10 Tips” to effective networking to help you develop your own approach.

1.Choose the networking groups you attend wisely. You need groups of proactive business owners, not ones that just meet to chat and feel good about themselves! “Test and Measure” your groups before you invest your valuable time.

You need to measure the ROI of your time in networking more than the monetary investment.

2.Go to networking meetings with a goal in mind for the number of new relationships you are going to “invest in” and the number of meetings that you are going to schedule.

3.Be clear on the type of business categories you are looking for, think about the size, type and location of companies you would like to work with.

4.Make it easy for people to refer work to you by having a clear and concise offer. Do you have a call to Action? I provide a “Complimentary Coaching Session” to prospects. Could you provide a service audit of some type to demonstrate your depth of knowledge and how you can provide value?

5.Network for a Strategic Partner. It is often easier to find a need for, and discuss a Referral Partner than yourself. Tends to be more conversational and helpful in intent, versus "salesie". Be sure to carry their cards too. You may find a higher value and greater return in developing Referrals for your Strategic Partners than yourself.

6.Ask the people you meet about themselves and their business; don't forget that people buy from people they “know, like and trust” and showing interest in what others do will help to start to build that relationship.

7.Have a great story to tell and be enthusiastic, make people interested in what you do, never try to just sell what you do. Focus on the results you have provided to others in a similar industry or situation. Not what you want them to do.

8.Don't forget to take enough business cards, trifolds or “one sheets” with you!

9.Always follow up on the people you have met after the event, remember, networking is the start of the sales process, not the end. A hand written thank you note is a nice touch and will be one way to develop a unique relationship that is appreciated.

10.Finally, make sure you measure the results of your efforts; it is after all NetWORKING, not NetLUNCH or NetCHAT.

So now you have a guide to effective networking, get out there, take action and make it work for you!

What is Your Networking Return-on-Investment?

To get a free evaluation and help you determine your Networking and Marketing ROI, contact Coach Jay for a Complimentary Coaching Session today. A 90-minute session with Coach Jay to begin the process of moving your Dreams to the Results you deserve. Don’t delay!!

Remember, my goal is to help you THRIVE not merely SURVIVE!
We “Guarantee” our results!!  Contact Jay for a Complimentary Coaching Session (CCS) to show how Coaching is “self-funding” through bottom-line impact in 17-weeks or less.  Guaranteed!!  CoachJay@ACofOC.com , or call my cell at (949) 422-1167.  Don’t WASTE any more of your most precious resource, Your Time!!

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