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The right and wrong approaches to networking – Part 1

Too many people go to business events thinking only ‘What’s in it for me?’ or ‘How can I get these people to buy my services or products?’

Or ‘I must sell something here or it will be a total waste of time’.

Networking is not about

W.I.I.F.M. – “What’s in it for me?” but much more about

W.I.I.F.Y – “What’s in it for you?” look back at this second acronym and you read wi-fi the modern day way of communication. Apt?!

The most effective marketing for people in the advice-giving business revolves about giving first and receiving second.

The thoughts below are specifically designed to help you get more response to all your marketing efforts and to attract prospects who are qualified to take advantage of your service.

Thought 1. Give away valuable information

All of your marketing should revolve around this thinking. Articles, reports, surveys, teleclasses and other valuable information gives prospects a real taste of what your business and services are all about. And these days you can distribute this information practically for free via email and the web.

Offer an article when people sign up for your newsletter and before too long, hundreds, perhaps thousands of people will know more about you and have a positive association with you.

Thought 2. Share valuable resources

When you make an initial connection with someone, it’s not unusual that you learn of a business issue that person has a challenge with. They may be looking for a new accountant, a new lawnmower or how to a book work with virtual assistants.

When you have this knowledge, let them know and follow up after the meeting with an email with the information or an online link.

Make it a habit to be a resource and people won’t forget you. Build a reputation for reliability; unfortunately there isn’t a lot of it about.

Thought 3. Give free bonuses with your services and products

A bonus can be an enticement to work with you: “When you book X months of work with me, you’ll also receive a copy of this planning software.” Or “If you book two people onto our seminar by October 1st you’ll get a third place free.”

However, it’s more than an enticement. It adds real value that can make a difference to your clients or customers. And if it helps them get better results, you get more positive word of mouth.

Everyone wins and your cost is minimal.

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