People tell us that traditional networking no longer works. In today's world where 'shouting' about what you do no longer brings you business it is the quality of your business relationships that is key.
The NRG Advocacy System helps you develop those key relationships who will connect you with the right sort of people on a regular basis.
It takes business networking to a new level.
We define a networking advocate as someone who knows you, likes you, rates you and trusts you. But most importantly it is someone who goes out of their way to refer you to their contacts on a regular basis. Having a handful of advocates producing referrals on a regular basis helps you grow your business on a sustainable and consistent basis.
1. Set your networking objectives
As with most endeavours it helps to decide what you are trying to achieve. Why are you networking? What are the results you want? You can only measure success if you know exactly what success looks like for you. Knowing this will also help you identify where to network. There are various reasons why people network. The main reason is to generate more business. Other reasons include finding suppliers, acquiring knowledge and identifying others to collaborate with.
2. Identify your target market
What type of clients are you looking for? You have to be very clear what your ideal client looks like. Think about business size, industry, geography and what sort of issues they might have. Paint a picture in your mind of your ideal client. Be as specific as possible.
At a business networking lunch I heard two marketing consultants telling the table what they did. One said that he covered the whole range of marketing services either outsourcing the marketing director function in small companies or doing project work in big companies. In short he professed to do anything marketing for anybody. The second marketing consultant said “I am a marketing consultant – I help solicitors win profitable new clients”. Which one was in demand afterwards – the latter of course.
3. Develop your proposition
Prepare to answer the question “what do you do?”. Your proposition needs to cover your target market, what you do (as briefly as possible) but more importantly what sort of outcomes you achieve. Focus on your expertise.Be prepared to answer the question “So, how do you do that?” with a story. People remember stories. A typical story might be:
“Let me tell you about ...........
His problem was .............
What we did was ................
and the outcome was ................ ”
4. Define your inner network
This is important and is one which most people don’t do. Take some time to think through what sort of business people might know your target market. These are the people you want to meet. They are the people you will build your inner network from.There are three criteria about who should be in your inner network:
* They like you
* They know your target market
* They have the capability of referring you
5. Build your advocates
There is a big difference between selecting someone to be in your inner network and moving them to advocate status. You have to motivate your inner network so that they decide to become advocates (their choice). Take time to develop the relationships with key members of your network. Go out of your way to connect them to key members of your network and introduce them to people who might benefit from their services. Find out where they need help. Become an advocate for them. And, guess what? What goes round comes round.
People will eventually become advocates for you – and this is where the NRG Advocacy System really pays out! They will go out of their way to recommend your goods and services without being asked or expecting anything in return.
The NRG Advocacy System in more detail