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Clients, Clients, and More Clients
CREATE AN ENDLESS STREAM OF NEW BUSINESS WITH THE POWER OF PSYCHOLOGY
By Larina Kase
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.Copyright © 2012Larina Kase
All rights reserved.
Make the Right Connections—People Look for Those Who Fill a Need
Many a live wire would be a dead one except for his connections.
Perhaps you can relate to one of my clients, Stacey:
"I know I need to get out and network, but I don't know the right places to go, don't have any time to do it, and don't really want to. I don't really like talking about myself, and I don't want to come across as pushy or needy. Social media networking is fun, but hasn't paid off for me. I don't want to waste my time networking if nothing is going to happen from it."
Like Stacey, you may find it difficult to initiate conversations and begin business relationships. Or you may be a natural networker. Either way, the first critical step is getting in front of the right people.
Why We Don't Get Out and Meet People
We can come up with millions of excuses for why we don't meet people and market our businesses. Two of the most common factors that stop people from going out and pursuing connections are the lack of time and lack of confidence.
Making time to make connections
In an online survey I conducted about the challenges of relationship marketing, hundreds of people responded that they have no time to network, connect, and follow up. I understand the busy lifestyles that we all have and how difficult it can be to make the time. I also believe that we make time for what's important. If we saw substantial payoff in our business, we would make the time. And if others saw substantial benefit in connecting with us, they would make the time to do so.
The great thing about learning the psychological principles we will discuss is that when you use them, your efforts will pay off more quickly and powerfully. You will actually spend less time because what you do will work better. For this reason we will not discuss time management. Rather, commit to putting the ideas you learn here into practice, dedicate enough time, and you will start to see results fairly quickly.
The challenge with all forms of marketing, however, is that results are typically not immediate. You will need to continue to put some time in and do the work before you get an immediate reward. You will see results months and years after you put the time in. I often get e-mails from clients who I worked with in the past telling me how they put the ideas we discussed into practice for six months or so and their businesses and practices took off exponentially. This means that your initial time investment will be substantially higher than your ongoing time investment. Think of this like the principle of inertia—a body at rest stays at rest, and a body in motion stays in motion. It takes a great deal more to get things moving than to keep them moving. Once you put the time and energy in to get things moving, they will begin to pick up speed on their own—and you'll have much more time to do with whatever you'd like.
Building confidence to make connections
In working with hundreds of service business owners, I've found four primary causes for not having confidence to get out and network.
1. Lack of clarity about exactly what you do and how you help people. When you do not feel confident about your brand and message, it is difficult if not impossible to want to get out and share it. Without a clear message and a way to grab attention, your fear can be valid because people may not listen or respond as you would like. Often people who lack confidence in their message and unique value become focused on the competition. They see others who do what they do and think that they do not measure up. Remember that we can always find someone better because we are our own worst critics. Do not bother comparing yourself to the "competition." Know that you are unique and different and even if you offer the same services as someone else, you may better benefit particular people because they resonate with you. We'll discuss ways to grab attention, engage emotion, and show your credibility in the next three chapters.
2. Lack of confidence that you will follow up with people. Networking does take some time. If we believe that we won't follow up with people, we may figure, "Why bother?" This is a good question, and the answer is that you shouldn't bother networking if you will not follow up. There are two primary reasons that you may have difficulty following up. The first reason is a personal lack of organization. Some people, such as those with attention deficit disorder, are naturally less organized and focused. If this is your challenge, you can work on creating systems to help you. These systems include external accountability and support, such as with a coach, assistant, or friend; office organization systems; contact management systems, such as that offered by the Web site Solid.ly; and so on. The second reason is that you aren't sure how to best follow up and deliver ongoing value. We'll go through strategies for effectively following up in the second section of this book.
3. Lack of confidence that people will take action. This concern is similar to the previous one. If you are not confident that people will hire you, refer to you, or buy from you, you're likely to figure, "Why bother?" When you learn the strategies in the third part of the book, you will be better able to stimulate action and make your marketing pay off. Once you do this, you will have greater confidence the next time.
4. Lack of extroversion. Initiating conversations is more difficult if you are shy. If you're introverted, it may not be particularly comfortable for you to go up to people and start talking. By the way, introversion and public speaking anxiety are not the same thing. Extroverts can also have public speaking anxiety. If you're nervous about speaking in public, find tips on my blog, EndSpeakingAnxiety.com. If you are not necessarily nervous but are on the quiet side, take heart: Extroverts do not always have the advantage. Sometimes extroverts overwhelm people and talk at people rather than to them. The key really is to be yourself—introverted, extroverted, or in between. When you connect in an authentic way, people respond.
Do any of these sound familiar? If so, don't worry, they do not need to hold you back from initiating relationships.
Finding the Right People
Once you've overcome the time and/or confidence concerns that may hold you back from connecting with others, the next step is to determine who you'll meet and how you'll do so.
Figuring out which networking events to attend
There are dozens of online and offline networking events, so we need to be selective about where to invest our time, energy, and money. Here are some questions to ask yourself to evaluate whether a networking event is likely to be worthwhile.
Is it convenient? If it requires an hour of driving each way, four hours of a babysitter, and less time spent with clients or developing your business, it definitely needs to meet the other criteria.
Is it expensive? If you need to join an expensive association to attend, be sure that you speak with a member relations professional about a free trial where you can attend at least one event at no charge to see if it is a good fit for you.
Is it packed with potential clients? If so, then it is likely to be worth checking out.
Is it packed with potential referral partners? If so, then it is definitely worth checking out. Referral pa
Excerpted from Clients, Clients, and More Clients by Larina Kase. Copyright © 2012 by Larina Kase. Excerpted by permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..
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