The Importance of Networking

7 replies
I rarely post here (for the most part I pop in once a month or so and browse threads) but as someone who subscribes to many "offliner" email lists, and who happens to own an offline agency doing SEO, PPC, and social media, I'm really shocked at the general lack of attention on simple, old-fashioned business networking to gain clients.

Examples:

I know someone who started from scratch doing SEO and last year, in his second year, did $600k simply by showing up at Meetup groups and other local events and telling people what he does - he ranks websites.

On a sales training call last night I learned of another offliner who built a six-figure business in under 90 days, again by showing up at networking events and meeting people.

I have a good friend - another sales author/trainer - who has a $10M+ business. When I asked him how on earth he built it so quickly, he told me that he networked 60 hours a week. Every day of the week he went to a different breakfast networking group, a lunch group, and a happy-hour group. Then he would go to upscale bars at night where business owners hang out, and mingle there. (60 hrs/week is an extreme example, but $10M is an extreme amount of income!!)

Every day my inbox is full of WSOs and other offers about the latest magic key to get new clients without cold calling, but I rarely if ever hear anyone talk about good old fashioned networking, which happens to be the *BEST* way to get new clients in *ANY* business!!!!!!!

If you're not networking, do this right now:

1. Get your clothes in order. Get your suits or dresses fitted if they're not already.

2. If you don't have a good business wardrobe then go somewhere like Nordstrom Rack where you can get high-quality clothes at deep discounts. (If you're already rolling in money, go to Neiman Marcus and buy a few $3,000 hand-made suits that will last a lifetime - I did that between 10-12 years ago and simply have them re-fitted every couple of years.)

3. Get on Meetup's mailing list for your city and start going to events. Subscribe to your local Business Journal or look for events on their website. Join the Chamber of Commerce if you can afford it.

4. Buy a good book on business networking like the "Little Black Book of Connections" by Jeff Gitomer and learn how to network.

5. Always have a ready supply of business cards and be ready to answer the question "what do you do" on a moment's notice. And make it interesting and attractive. Don't say "I do internet marketing for local businesses." Say, "I get your website literally printing money for you."

I can tell you that most of my SEO/PPC business comes by word of mouth which has generally resulted entirely from networking. Believe me, people WANT your offline services, so stop cold calling or looking for the latest "magic key" to get new clients, and get to some networking events and meet people!!!
#importance #networking
  • Profile picture of the author John Williamson
    Thanks for sharing. I believe networking is hugely important. My story is similar to yours. Nearly every client I've gotten has come simply from word of mouth and referrals, no selling involved really.
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  • Profile picture of the author AshleyScott
    Today, its user generated content that brings or drive away the traffic. Networking is powerful enough to meet people and enter a negotiation. Luckily the networking is available for free and many networking sites are helpful to target a particular category of customers. I have similar experience in running an Ecommerce where I get enough customers from Social Netwoking sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Frank, lets see how this thread turns out.

    Thanks for posting your perspective on client getting but I fear that a lot of people don't want to get out from behind the computer to go out and either, A. Meet business owners at their place of business, or B. Get out and start networking as you like to do.

    I think this is the reason why the push button magic client getting systems are so popular, they are just filling the desires of the market.

    But, on the other hand

    Some methods aren't for every one either and as you feel that networking is the *best* way to get new clients, that's whats best for you but not necessarily for some one else. Yes?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    You mean I have to get out from behind my desk and out of my office to do business?!?!
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  • Profile picture of the author GrumpyMonkey
    My business is 100% offline and I spend a lot of time physically going to network groups and events. It is a great way to meet prospects and potential clients, interact and let them see the passion you have for your business. That's what sells you.

    I also have to say that a lot of those clients became very good friends. I got married last July and half the guests were clients. LOL
    IMHO the offline world is totally about relationships. Face to face, personal, good, bad, and ugly stuff.

    Over the past 5 years, I have accumulated literally thousands of contacts. So when I get ready to launch my first "online" program next month, I have literally thousands of people to reach out to and help me jumpstart my first online niche directory.

    I was very shy in the beginning, but I would say that it has been the BEST way for me to stay in business in the offline world.

    Warren
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  • Profile picture of the author EnzoBlaque
    I can't stress how important getting out there and shaking a few hands is to any business. Personally, I try my hardest to attend at least two networking events per week.

    Just to get the word out about my business.

    I have met some great people and closed some of my largest deals just from attending these events.
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  • Profile picture of the author AshleyScott
    I think spending some time on networking as a part of marketing activities is what repeated.
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