News: March 2011
In today’s challenging economic climate, it is critical to interact with the people who could become your clients, provide you with valuable information or help you to develop your business. Although we understand the importance of networking, many professionals will admit that they are not particularly good at it. In order to network effectively, it is essential to set some goals before you arrive at the event.
Obtain a new opportunity – This could be a new client, an invitation to join an organization (i.e. the ACCA), or a business referral.
Develop leads – If you don’t develop a direct opportunity, your fall back option is to get talking to a few people who fall within your target market. For example, a corporate lawyer should attempt to meet an accountant or 2 as they tend to give business to corporate lawyers in general. The corporate lawyer can then add the accountant to their emailing list and keep in touch until a business opportunity arises.
Meet new people who could refer business or help you with your business – This is the bare minimum you should aim to achieve from attending networking events. You may get talking to a business consultant or IT specialist. They may not become a client of your firm but they could help you add value by providing advice on how you can improve the way you do business. They might even get you a better deal on some new I.T. hardware, for example.
What next? Make a commitment to attend at least 1 networking event every month. Try and set yourself some goals (i.e. pick up 3 new business cards, have a good conversation with at least 1 person, etc).