Guest Post by: Vernetta Freeney
Imagine walking into a room with hundreds of people. You are a new entrepreneur and know no one there. Yes, it happens to all of us. We are told to network and go where the “big” networking events are held. But what happens when we just do what others tell us to do with no plan?
Networking is the scariest thing any new entrepreneur has to implement into their marketing plan. It has the connotation that you must come ready to sell your wares. But how can you sell when you don’t know the mix of the room?
This is when a networking strategy takes precedent. Wondering aimlessly in a room full of potential clients does not yield positive results for you. You must have a strategy prepared prior to walking in the room.
This allows you to know who to target, what to say and how to get a follow up meeting scheduled. So how can one accomplish these tasks without looking thirsty for a sale?
First, you must sit down and know who you ideal client is. This is not as easy as some people make it out to be. You must know what their wants are. Their needs are irrelevant because everyone wants to buy what makes them happy not what they need in order to survive. Often times your ideal client is someone just like you. That’s why you created your product or service. This helps you really pinpoint a clear picture of who to target.
After knowing their wants, you must know why it’s important to them. This helps you know exactly what to say to get their attention. You are there to empathize with their wants not push your product or service on them at that moment or any moment.
When a person sees you are there to help them, they usually want to meet with you so you can sit down and talk in depth. Again, this is not the time to sell. You listen to all they have to say. You give feedback at the appropriate time to show your concern and interest in helping them.
At first glance this may seem like common sense to many. But the actual process is not that easy without a strategy. When you start a business your funds are usually limited especially women. Women usually receive $6,000 in investments to start their business opposed to men receiving $30,000.
Now think about your limited funds. Can you market your business the way you would like on a $0 budget? Actually you can. It’s called networking. This is where you step from behind the computer and let people put a face to your business name.
Once you truly make strong connections with key people following your networking strategy, it’ll be easier to generate income. At the end of the day, that is all that matters. You want to have connections with key people who will refer others to you so you make money.
Vernetta R. Freeney is a networking strategist, award winning blogger and entrepreneur. You can learn more about her at www.womenaregamechangers.com follow me @womenaregamechangers