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Five Ways to Make Networking Pay Off Instantly

07 March 2011

Networking is a fabulous way to get clients, if you do it the right way. Many people go from one networking function to the other, exchange pleasantries with people who will never become ideal clients, deliver elevator pitches that don't move anyone and go home with a lot of business cards that go into the bin either a week or three months later (depending on whether you are a man or a woman. Women tend to hang onto them for longer than men

Oh and then of course there are the people who avoid networking all together because they are too shy or uncomfortable about doing it.

And that's a shame. Because I can't think of an easier and faster way to get clients. In fact over the years networking has been one marketing strategy I could always rely on to get me new clients when I needed them, often instantly, sometimes just a few months down the track.

But you have to be smart about it for it to work. Here are my top five tips for smart networking that pays off (often) instantly in new clients.

1. Set your intent
When I went to the States my intent was to create one new business opportunity and make a firm arrangement for my own mentoring for 2010. I was very clear about that, thought about it on the plane going there and wrote it down. Then when getting there I trusted that it would all sort itself out and while it was in the back of my mind, I was unattached to this outcome and focused on having a good time. And it did all work itself out, I got exactly what I wanted.

2. Be strategic about who you hang out with
While good things often come from unexpected places, I still recommend you make some educated guesses as to who would be useful to spend time with, have conversations with, get to know. If you know who is attending, plan in advance who you would like to meet and connect with.

3. Give and you shall receive
Listen and watch out for opportunities to add value. Be generous with your knowledge and give so others benefit from having spoken to you. I always aim to leave someone I spoke to a bit richer for having had our conversation. Sometimes it's not your knowledge they need, sometimes it's simply an opinion, an open ear, a compliment, a connection to someone who can help them. All of these things will be appreciated and you will be remembered for it.

4. Be clear about what you can offer people you meet
If people want to know more about what you do, be sure to be prepared. What is the introductory offer you can make them? Is there a way to get started while you are there (if you are both travelling), or can you make an appointment for the near future. Lock it in, it's much more likely to happen if it's in the diary straight away.

5. Don't push your business cards onto others
This is a 'Don't' that you are probably already familiar with. I generally don't give my business card to anyone these days unless they ask for it. Otherwise the card will most likely end up in the bin or the drawer anyway and I don't want that. Be choosy and don't give your card to just anyone. They have to be qualified and really interested (they kind of have to earn the right to have your card).

About The Author
Yvonne McIntosh is a Solopreneur Marketing Coach specializing in helping Coaches, Consultants, Trainers and Wellness Professionals to Brand their Unique Brilliance, Package and Price their Expertise in innovative business models that leverage their time and show them how to charge what they're really worth and get it. Yvonne's special skills lie in empowering entrepreneurs to break through their limiting beliefs, self sabotage and self doubts so they feel empowered and confident in stepping out of their comfort zone and growing their business. To get access to her free weekly Marketing articles and a free audio download and report, visit Yvonne's site at

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  • Nicole Morris

    Nicole Morris 9 years ago

    Our Ruby Learning Series start with a 1/2 hour of networking before we get into the workshop. We always ask our guests what were the highlights. Apart from the topic itself, 9 / 10 guests are thankful for the networking opportunities. A room full of women networking can be explosive, it really is a great way marketing your business and create new business opportunities.