This is a series of posts about getting more clients and building a solid referral base for your private practice. Thanks for the opportunity to share this information with you; I look forward to helping you bring it to life in your business! ~ Deb Legge
Networking can mean a lot of things to as many people.
If you hear “networking” and think:
- “Oh my God, I have to go out in public and meet people?!”;
- “Do I really need to go to those chamber and rotary meetings?”; or
- “I’d better come up with a brochure and an elevator speech and be prepared to pounce!”,
then your view of networking might be a bit askew. I’d love to help you see networking as something you don’t dread… something you actually see as a way to stay in touch with people you care about and want to help!
When I teach the Book Yourself Solid(R) marketing strategy, you learn 6 core self-promotion strategies to help you get more clients and increase your referral base. Networking is the first of three mandatory strategies in the BYS system. Our view of networking is simply this:
IT’S A WAY TO DEEPEN RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE YOU ALREADY KNOW!
There. Now (hopefully) you can exhale! Networking doesn’t have to be a dreaded event. Actually, it’s not an event at all! Networking is simply what you do to keep in touch with folks who can either refer to you, or who can promote you to others who can either refer to you or use your services themselves. It’s a bit of magic that lets people know you really care about them; that they matter to you, and you are there to be a resource to them.
Networking involves using a formal (or informal) Client Relationship Management system (CRM). Your CRM might be a Rolodex, an excel spreadsheet, sticky notes on your desk, or something with some bells and whistles, which will help you keep track of the folks of your network, and will also prompt you to stay in touch with them.
Ideally, you’ll have a “Network of 90” — 90 people: who do business with you already; who you know and who have access to and influence over your target market; or who you know and are willing to spread the news about you and the work you do. Then, you’ll determine how often you’d like to follow up with these folks, and put that schedule in your calendar or your CRM.
All you need to do is take just a few minutes each workday and reach out to your network. You can make a call, send an email, send a card, etc.
You don’t want to “spam” the people in your network. You are looking to build relationships. So, make sure everything you share is relevant, meaningful, and potentially helpful or informative to the recipient.
- You can share “who you know” — make introductions in your Network of 90, to bring together people that would really benefit from the introduction
- You can share “what you know” — articles, links, books, news items that are helpful to the recipient
- You can share “how you feel” — a thank you, a birthday card, a note of congratulations or encouragement
This type of kindness helps deepen your relationships by increasing your credibility, likability, and trust. Remember, people will only do business with you to the extent they trust you.
Networking can be fun. It can also be a great way to spread joy and love in a world that desperately needs it. And, as a reward, you’ll likely see your referrals and opportunities climb!
Deb Legge is licensed to teach the Book Yourself Solid® system, created by Michael Port, based on his mega best selling book, Book Yourself Solid® For more information, email me at: DrLegge@gmail.com