One of the things I most enjoy about being a Time Strategy Visionary is the talented people I meet along the way. A new friend, Cynthia Trevino is the co-founder of Resonnect, a business development and content strategy company. Cynthia works with business owners to carve out the value in their products, services and books, turn it into educational content, and then help it reach their ideal clients.
In this guest post, Cynthia helps us understand the great value in networking to reach your “right” client.
Networking is a way of life for you. You invest your valuable time to network to build relationships to help grow your business, find customers, referral partners, joint venture partners or volunteers for your charity work.
Purdue University recommends that women entrepreneurs spend between 5 and 9 hours per week networking, so you’re in good company!
Problem is, networking’s taking so much of your time! How do you find the right events attended by your customers? With travel, networking events are time consuming. And, you want to avoid wasting time at events where you meet the wrong people.
“Just as the value of real estate depends on 3 main things, location, location, location, a woman’s ability to succeed in business hinges on 3 main things— relationships, relationships, relationships.”
— Jane P. Newton, wealth advisor and partner at RegentAtlantic
Let’s briefly talk about mindset and goal setting. If you’re networking to grow your business, your #1 goal is to make warm connections for follow-up. Avoid any expectations that you’re going to sign a new customer at the event.
We’ve got you covered on the time drain! Here are 5 tips to help you find the right events, stop wasting time and save your sanity.
1. Set your intentions and goals for networking. You’re not going to meet six of your perfect potential customers at one event. Be aspirational. Relationships take time to develop.
2. Clarify your perfect customer and your ideal referral partners. Refresh your description of the customer you serve best, get the greatest results for and who you love working with. Do the same for referral partners. Keep them in mind while you’re mingling.
3. Do your event homework. Stay on top of all of the nearby events popular with your customers. New groups pop up all the time. Do a solid online search to discover relevant organizations, groups and associations. Search Facebook too.
For example, type this phrase into Facebook: “entrepreneur networking groups in Cleveland, Ohio”
Also check out Eventbrite.com, Meetup.com, local universities and local business publications.
4. Ask for recommendations. Learn which groups and events your customers, friends, accountant, dentist, attorney prefer. Leave no stone unturned! Understand why they like a particular group or event. Ask about their outcomes or relationships they’ve developed.
5. Search your competitors’ websites and LinkedIn profiles. Find out where they’re speaking and which groups they belong to. You may uncover new events and groups to visit!
Here’s a quick example of how networking helps you! Lisa and I met at the NAWBO Women’s Business Summit during a networking break. We chatted about pressing issues we’re working on with our respective clients.
Lisa’s genius is as a personal time strategy visionary (as you know as a loyal reader of her blog). My genius is working with entrepreneurs who are ready to attract their perfect customers and build their dream business.
We discovered that a common challenge our clients shared is managing networking! And that we could help both our communities if we put our time strategy + marketing strategy heads together. The result is this post and the next series we’re preparing for you!
Let us know your networking thoughts, experiences and questions in the comments below!
Want to know more about Cynthia’s work? Visit Resonnect here. Need some support as you go through these steps? Reach out to me for some suggestions – pick my brain!