Every business coach marketing plan to generate new business coaching leads, clients, and strategic partnerships should include NETWORKING.
The only problem? Most people would rather stick bicycle spokes into their eyes than walk into a room full of complete strangers and start random conversations!
But if you can take your attention off your own misery long enough to observe the very predictable behavior of the people at the next networking event you attend, you’ll notice virtually everyone doing the exact same self-defeating behaviors.
The good news is that networking can be easy and not that painful, if you follow these rules. Here’s my system for getting at least one new business coaching client from each and every networking event you attend.
RULE #1: Set a goal based on your sales math. If you’re conversion rates are about average, you’ll need 10 leads to get one new client. Choose a networking event that’s likely to be populated with people who match your ideal client profile. Your goal is to come away from the event with at least 10 qualified business cards. Not 8 or 9, but 10. Once you have your 10 business cards, it’s just a matter of working your conversion rates and letting the sales math run its course.
RULE #2: Spend 3 minutes with each person. Jump into a small group of people who look bored with the conversation or, even better, look for an individual who is “stranded” and needs someone to “rescue” them. In the first 3 seconds, make a warm, positive impression. Introduce yourself by name and get the name of the person you’re talking to. In the next 30 seconds, find out what your prospect does, what kind of business they have, and how long they’ve been doing it. In the next 3 minutes, ask questions that get below the surface. Dig deep and look for emotion. What challenges to do they have, what problems are they trying to solve? When 3 minutes has elapsed, ask them for their business card. You’ll never be refused. Thank them for sharing with you and promise to call them this week. Then, politely excuse yourself and move on to the next person.
RULE #3: Focus intensely on each person you talk to. In each 3 minute segment, the person must feel that they are the center of your universe. The conversation must be all about “what’s in it for them” and not “what’s in it for you.” Go to networking events to give, not get. This sounds simple, but so few people truly understand it. As hard as it can be, wait to talk about yourself until you’re asked! In fact, try to deflect the first couple questions about you and keep learning about them until they insist on learning about you by repeatedly asking questions. The goal is to be “interested,” not “interesting!” The more “interested” you are in others, the more “interesting” you seem! When you do this for 3 minutes, you’ll see a magical thing begin to happen: the establishment of trust.
RULE #4: Exude positive energy. Energy emanating from an absolute passion for what you do as a coach will set you apart from everyone else in the room. A “can-do” attitude and the attractive ability to have a fun will light up the room. If this kind of behavior doesn’t come naturally to you, that’s okay. It didn’t for me either. But, you can and must learn how to turn it on and off at will. Arm yourself with quality questions and you’ll become the center of attention, as people gather around to observe the liveliness and excitement of the conversations you’re having!
RULE #5: Call them back as promised. Within the next two days, call or email all 10 qualified business cards you picked up and set up a time to chat by phone. Your goal for the first call is to discover at least three areas of business pain, shoot at least three Silver Bullets (download our FREE Silver Bullets cheat sheet!) and set up a face to face meeting called a “Complimentary Coaching Session so you can demonstrate your value as a business coach and get them enrolled in one of your programs.
Networking is the key to starting relationships that can lead to business coaching clients, raving fans, great referrals, and life-long friends. If you’ve never committed yourself to become a master networker, now is the time. Get started this week!
For more great marketing tips and tricks like these, download out my ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star. Or, if you get stuck or need support in the form of systems and expert help on mastering these skills quickly, then book into a Cash and Clients Strategy Session with one of our certified Coaches’ Coaches who will help you get things rocking in a hurry!