I know networking is important and something I should be doing on a regular basis, but with my current efforts I’m not seeing an immediate return on the investment of my time and money. What should I be doing to make sure I am making the most out of these meetings?
Dear Networking Novice,
This is an excellent question. Your time and money are valuable resources that you should be making sure you are using wisely. Whether you are meeting one on one or in a group setting, here are a few tips to employ immediately:
- Create an agenda. Write down how you would like the meeting to go before you meet. Chances are if you hit all of your established bullet points, you will walk away with key topics covered and a clear next step.
- Have a specific opening question. Posing a question like, “What has to happen today to make this a successful meeting for you?” is not only a good opening line to get down to business, it also allows you to gage what type of “close” you will pose in the meeting.
- Speaking of a “close,” have one! Like a good sales call, you’ll want to have a specific “close” to work toward. Invite them to an upcoming seminar or to visit your office, offer to do their own estate plan, plot out a plan to refer clients, or set up a time to do an endorsed/private seminar for their clients.
- Be clear on your relationship. Establish why they should work with you and vice versa. What do both sides gain from working together?
- Invite them to experience what it would be like to be your client. Especially if this is the first time meeting someone, invite them to an upcoming seminar or offer to do their own plan. Once they experience the amazingness that is working with your firm they are more likely to send their clients your way.
- Walk away with a “clear next step.” Never leave a meeting without stating the next step for all parties involved. I recommend you talk to everyone within a week of the meeting so that you and your conversation are top of mind.
- Do what you say you will do. Having good follow through and sticking to your word will get you a long way in life and in business. If you say you’ll call on the 19th– call on the 19th!
These are only a few tips, so this would be an excellent topic for a call with your PBC. With time and successful implementation of advice like this, you will start to see more of a return on your investment. You get out what you put in. So spend timing thinking about how your next networking meeting will go and the possible outcomes. In no time you’ll go from Networking Novice to Nimble in Networking.
Sincerely, Your Devoted PBC
Practice Building Consultant
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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