Networking, love it or hate it, if you’re an entrepreneur it’s something that you probably spend some time doing multiple times a month.
And it’s been on my mind a lot in one way or another over the past year or so.
Why? Well, last year I was trying to figure it out. I was past the point where I was “new.” So, why wasn’t I seeing more clients coming from networking? What was the magic formula that other people seemed to know? Or was there one?
I’ve heard people say networking works, when you do it right and network in the right spots. And I thought I was networking at the right spots and I was regularly attending (I knew all the other regulars), wasn’t that enough?
As it turns out, no, that wasn’t enough, for me anyway.
Think about the networking groups you go to regularly. You know the other regulars right? And if you hear someone else say something similar to one of the regulars elevator pitch, you’re going to instantly think of them, right?
Well, what about those businesses that are a little harder to describe. You kinda get it, but you’re not really clear. It’s harder to know what a good referral is for them, right?
Now, are you one of those businesses? You might think that your elevator speech is really clear, that everyone just gets what you do.
And you might be very, very wrong. I was.
I thought that it was very clear what I did. I’m the Entrepreneur’s Productivity Coach. Isn’t it obvious how I help small businesses? Ummm, no.
But it’s so hard for us to see that from inside our own business.
This is why meeting beyond networking is so important. Have coffee or a phone conversation with people beyond the confines of the networking group.
This not only gives you an opportunity to share more about your business (notice I wrote share about your business, not launch into your sales pitch) and, more importantly, it gives you an opportunity to learn more about the other person’s business and personal life.
These relationships not only help your business, they can support you.
As I’ve done this for my own business I’ve meet business owners that I just love spending time with. I want to just hang out with them, because they’re cool and we just click.
I would have never known that if I wouldn’t have reached out beyond networking.
Think about one or two people that you want to reach out to later this week or early next week to set up a coffee or phone meeting. Let me know when you’ll be meeting with them in the comments below!
Nervous about making that phone call or writing that email to set up that meeting? Or maybe you’re worried about what to say or share in the meeting?
This is covered in my new KiT program (Keep-in-Touch). There are scripts to model and suggested questions to ask to help take the “I don’t know what to do” fear out of the picture. And, of course, you have one on one time with me to help you through those things too!