Successful Business Networking

Author:Carolina Moore

Is your business networking helping you bring in the new clients you want?  If you are like most independent professionals and small business owners, you put hard work into getting your name out there and distribute your business card wherever you go.  You may even attend a weekly or monthly networking group or occasional business conference where people share leads. And like most people, your time and effort isn\'t generating a steady stream of new business.

According to Charlie Cook, author of 'Marketing for Success', the problem is that most people think that business networking consists of telling as many people as possible what they do, and handing out as many business cards as they can. They waste the few precious moments they have with new and existing contacts by focusing on themselves.

It is possible to meet someone, hand them your card after a brief conversation, and have them call you to request your services, but this random approach is like playing the lottery. You can\'t count on it to produce results.  This is a 'Push and Pray' technique.  You push your information out to others and pray that they respond.  It rarely works. Your contact loses your card or simply forgets about you, or the timing wasn\'t right, or, in spite of the connection you thought you\'d made, a single conversation usually isn\'t enough to launch a client relationship. 

An effective and exciting form of lead generating for Franchise Owners with Always Best Care Senior Services is through Network Marketing.  According to David Caesar, Vice President of Franchise Development at Always Best Care, most business people already have a network and don\'t even know it.  Stop for a moment and consider how many people you know.  It will run into hundreds.  They come to you in the form of existing clients, other professional contacts, friends, family, the people you work with, and even your competition.  These groups are the fuel that people in network marketing use to generate leads and propel their businesses.

As someone who trains Franchise Owners to grow and develop their new business, David believes many key contacts can be made through Networking.  In order to become good at Networking, however, you need to have a game plan. Here are some helpful tips to help you with your Networking plan.

Walk into a Networking Event with confidence.  Plan to speak with each person 6 to 10 minutes. At the end of a two hour event, you will have about 20 business cards in your pocket.   Half of those people, 10, will be prospective clients.  And half of those prospects, 5, will have an immediate need.  The key is that you have to follow up with these potential clients.  If your personal closing ratio is 50 you will get 2 or 3 new clients from this two-hour event.  This is an effective use of your marketing time.

As you go out to try your hand at Networking for new clients, consider these statistics. 

1.  It takes 5 to 7 contacts before someone is willing to do business with you
2.  It takes 6 to 8 contacts before someone will give you a referral. 
3.  48of all sales people make one contact and quit.

4.  25of all sales people make two contacts, no more.

5.  17of all sales people make three contacts, and then stop.

6.  Fewer than 10of all salespeople make over 80of all sales.

7.  8of all sales are closed after the 5th to 7th contact.

For many, people business networking events can be an uneasy experience.  However, they don\'t have to be. If you really believe in your product or service, networking events offer a great opportunity to share your enthusiasm, meet others, learn more about what\'s going on outside your own little world and make some fantastic contacts along the way.  If you want to generate good quality leads in a highly productive way, brush up on your networking skills. To really become good at networking, you need to consciously put it into practice at least fifteen minutes a day.  You\'ll be surprised how many more of your prospects soon become clients.

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About the Author

For the past 13 years,Always Best Care has become one of the most trusted providers of senior care needs. With a proven track record in Assisted Living Placement Services, Home Care Services and Skilled Care for Seniors, Always Best Care has continually provided superior expertise and unmatched service though their network of independently owned and operated franchise offices.

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