Getting into business in an established market (which market today isn’t established?) can be really tough, but then again you enter a specific market on the back of having identified a gap in that market. This means you have to find some way of making it happen and one of the best pieces of advice I can give you on that front is that of polishing your networking skills.
In fact, I believe networking like a champion is the ultimate secret to success in business because being able to network like a champion often makes for the difference between almost getting that crucial deal and landing a huge contract to set you well on your way. In a world where a business just like yours can pop-up within a matter of days to add to the existing sea of competitors, you have to be able to stand out and incentivise potential clients to patronise your particular offering over everybody else’s.
The goal of networking
Make no mistake about it and don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. The ultimate goal of attending any networking session, whether formally organised or inadvertent, is indeed to grow your client base, even if only by one more customer. How do you do this?
NOT by pitching them your services right then and there, unless they explicitly state that they’re looking for your specific product or service offering. What you do is ask them about what they have to offer and then making a note of any challenges which they may be facing, whether they mention those challenges of their own accord or indeed if you have to go back to the office and conduct your own research to try and uncover those challenges.
Then, it works like magic, call up your contact, send them an email- whatever, just communicate in some or other way, but as part of your communication you should offer up a solution to any problem the may have. This can even be a solution which is offered up in the form of a recommendation, for example if your contact is based in Salt Lake City and they perhaps operate something like a blog offering financial advice, the value you give to them by way of a recommendation to a “problem” they may have is that of suggesting to them that they cover a topic on something like disability lawyers in the region who offer a free consultation.
Use a real world example, in which case that would be the Summit Disability Law Group for this particular example.
That won’t have cost you anything but a few minutes of your time, but what this does is establish you as a trusted source for collaboration in the mind of the contact you extended the gesture to, which means they’re more likely to want to return the favour in some or other way, in which case you can then pitch them whatever bit of business you really want to do with them.
At worst, they will refer you to their own circles and networks.