This could also be called, Why You Aren't Getting Any Business From Networking.
So you went to the networking luncheon, I'm assuming to get more business. You met some nice people, had a nice lunch and went back to work. A week or so later I, or some equally charming fellow business owner, call you to find out more about your business and this is what we get. “I'm sorry, I can't take your call right now, leave your name and number and I will call you back.”
We leave our very witty message, “Hi, this is Jean Kuhn, I met you at (fill in the blank where you met them) and I'm just calling to see if we could put some time on the calendar so I can find out more about your business.”
So what has brought this little blog (rant) to a head is this; the past couple of weeks I have been calling people to hear more about their business and how I may be of service to them. Whether it be a referral they need, a marketing tip I can give them to generate several thousand dollars, or help them solve a challenge they are having.
And here is what I'm seeing.
- Most people who network for business don't answer their phones. They don't know if it's me calling or Publisher's Clearing House to give them $10,000 a week for life. They have spent 2 hours, $15 for lunch, gave their business card out to everyone in the room without being asked for it, and they probably do this a couple times a week, because they need more business and……they don't pick up their phone for a number they don't recognize. I can only assume it's because the “mob” is out to get them.
- Most people who network for business don't return messages. One woman I called on March 14th and 17th says on her voice mail she returns all calls within 24 hours. Really? It's March 22nd and I'm still waiting. I have a pretty good referral for her, but I'm not leaving that on her voice mail. Why would I give business to someone who I now believe does not return phone calls. I now believe she won't be a good referral for the person I wanted to connect to her? When someone doesn't return my calls, I can only believe they don't return anyone's calls.
So, how is that business networking thing working out for you? If you aren't getting any business from it, Pick. Up. Your. Phone!
I know why you aren't picking it up, it's not because you're afraid the “mob” is after you, it's because you have been burned so many times with answering your phone only to find someone wanting to sell you their crap. The caller doesn't care about your business or you, they just see you as a “$”.
You can spot these people coming. You can see the desperation in their face as they approach you, they immediately molest you by sticking their business card in your hand, and then they turn to assault some other poor networking soul. It's ok to throw their card away because everyone does.
So here's the “skinny,” let me tell the steps to take for getting the most out of networking:
- Spend a few minutes talking to as many people as possible and ask for their card. Do not give out your card unless it's asked for. You should however, collect as many as you can, because you as a super “networker”, will follow up with the owner of each card you collect.
- Do use my Feeling Questions when you are networking. Download the questions here. Don't use all of these questions at one time, pick out your favorites, and use them as an ice breaker, and do save #4 for your follow up call.
- Call them after the event to schedule a time to talk about THEIR business. Do not try to hold the conversation right then, ask for a phone appointment, you don't have to “meet” them again. If they have read this blog they will answer their phone, if not, you might want to forward this blog to them. OK, I'm only slightly kidding about forwarding this to them.
- Ask them about their business, ask a feeling question or two, and always, always, always, provide them great value FIRST, i.e., a referral, a speaking opportunity, a tip, a great resource, etc.
- Now if they are “the most interesting” member of society, (ha, see what I did there) they will ask you about your business. Do not try to sell them here either. In 30 words or less give them the benefits of your product or service, and kindly ask them if they or anyone they know would have a need for this.
If you have done a proper job, you will have done about 10% of the talking, and as my friend Bob Burg says, your prospect will find you a fascinating conversationalist.
Now, this is how you make that business networking thing work out for you.
By the way, I would love to hear about your business. If you would like to see what I just said in practice, email me your name, website and phone at Jean@JeanKuhn.com. And I will call you to set a phone appointment. Make sure you pick up the phone when I call. <wink>
Jean Kuhn helps small business owners who are struggling to build a highly profitable business by offering business coaching and mindset mentoring.
When they work with her they get the results of: Creating a marketing message that their ideal client can “hear”, which means, more clients, more money and becoming a leader in their industry.