There is a huge amount of pressure when working for yourself to join a networking group. It’s a totally different scenario in corporate life, where you have a “Lead Generation “program to start business conversations to help you win new clients. There are also a myriad of tools that are available for the business to keep in contact with the existing client base.
However, if you’ve made the plunge to work for yourself, then you have to find some clients. Of course the most sensible practice will be to work part time on your business and continue with your employer to allow yourself to become established. You may be able to “buy” some clients from your employer or you may have to wait until your employment contract, that prevents you from approaching clients has wound down before you go anywhere near your ex clients.
Referrals are the first place to start obviously – work your network. The second point on the lead generation tool is networking. And my, don’t we have a range of networking events to choose from;
Business Referral Groups such as BNI, many coffee morning, social groups that do not encourage any notion of business at all, and then there are a whole range of events in between run by formal business groups, investment business’, companies, curry clubs or charities.
You pay your money and take your choose. Many people obviously like BNI, because it’s a global organisation and people often stay for many years. Many people dislike BNi because of its formal and structured approach. Well as Mr Gerber says, if you want growth, you need to put in systems, so you can hardly blame them for that!
The coffee morning approach is liked, because there is no pressure and no attempt to sell by other attendees – well there is always one person who comes on strong. Often these events are attended by self-employed people, who are looking for some social interaction in a non-threatening manner.
However, if you need to spend your working hours looking for interaction, then are you in the right career?
You can always create your own group of like-minded individuals, who you meet on the way. Meet once a month, share experiences good and bad, with like-minded professionals, who have similar plans and aspirations for their business.
However, one point is crystal clear – networking should be viewed as being part of your marketing mix – and if it isn’t generating new clients, you need to question it. Then it really is Not working, not networking.
If you would like a FREE 15 minute conversation, to see if we could work together, to help you win new clients, yes potentially including telemarketing then email me on [email protected] to arrange a conversation. I look forward to hearing from you.