Meeow Newsletter Header How To Get Clients From Networking Feb22 BLOG

5 important tips to get clients from networking

Let’s just start by saying getting clients from networking immediately and directly is unlikely. Not impossible, but it’s unlikely that you are going to meet “the one” the first time you log onto a session.

Surely that’s the point of networking, I hear you cry.

Ultimately, yes. We all do networking to grow our business and land new clients. But getting clients from networking is a slow burn, longer term prospect. And one which will yield bigger and better results in the long run.

dos and donts of getting clients from networking

There is no absolute formula to making connections and landing contracts with your networking skills. But here are 5 tips to help you significantly increase your odds.

1. don’t “we” all over people

How many times have your eyes glazed over when you’re listening to a presentation you don’t understand? Unless you can tell how it’s directly relevant to your world, why should you bother listening?

Your pitch is your networking presentation. It’s your chance to put you and your talents into the spotlight, so it needs to be good. If you want to get clients from networking, don’t ”we” all over them! Don’t tell people what we do, tell them what “we” can do for “you”. Cut the grandstanding and make your content directly relevant to to the audience in the room. And how do you do that…

2. do tell stories

Did you know that there’s actual scientific research to show that wrapping your message in a story makes it up to 22x more memorable? So, storytelling is the most powerful tool in your marketing toolbox, and one which you can use to great effect in networking. 

If you can deliver a story of how your business has helped a client to achieve their goal, you are onto a winner. We’re not talking once upon a time fairy tales, but real tangible examples of where your business helped a client smash their goals, up their game or any other less cliché examples. If people hear stories about business owners just like them, they can relate and what you do becomes accessible.

3. don’t worry about it (too much)

Putting pressure on yourself to land a client every time you go to a networking event is going to make you miserable. Instead, set more manageable goals, such as having at least one conversation with a new contact. Or maybe getting a contact for a problem you’re having in your business.

The best networking meetings are the ones that you go to with little or no expectation as, this way, you open yourself up to all the possibilities of the meeting, not just the limited objectives you might set. That expectation can translate into nerves, making you gallop through that introduction, kicking yourself afterwards because you missed something important. Instead, take a deep breath, make sure that you are feeling calm and go into the room with an open mind. Because you never know who you are going to meet.

4. do talk to everyone

Lilypads. Bear with us on this.

Think of yourself on one bank of a river, and your perfect ideal client is on the other. How are you going to get there? By jumping on the lilypads. One person opens the door to the next, and the next, and the next. Eventually you’ll reach the other side and land that perfect contract, with a much wider network and potential for referrals made along the way.

Even if you have a guest list, there are no guarantees as to who will actually be in the room at a networking event. You may walk in and find nobody who fits the ideal client persona you have in your head. Does that make the meeting a waste of time? Absolutely not. You don’t know who they know, so don’t be a snob and dismiss someone out of hand. They might have your perfect customer in their mental rolodex.

5. don’t be afraid to follow up

One last bulletproof way of improving your hit rate of getting clients from networking – always do the follow up. On a meeow, there are up to 4 people in the room. If you really hit it off with someone, make sure that you ask them if they have time to stay on at the “after meeow” to continue the conversation.

At the very least, connect with your new contacts on LinkedIn in a timely manner (i.e. within a day or two, so they remember who you are!). Engage with them, follow their content and, if it’s appropriate, ask them to meet for a virtual 1:1 coffee. But make sure you do your research to actually understand what their business does – ask questions and be genuinely interested. Think about who you can connect them with and vice versa.

It all starts with that meaningful conversation.

let people get to know you

If you’re a solopreneur, people aren’t just buying your products and services. They are buying into you as a person. Which means you don’t just launch into an automaton speech about your business at every opportunity.

Don’t just talk about business. Talk about what the people in your meeting want to talk about. If you want to talk about which restaurants do the best pizza, or which brands have the best web design, then chat about those things. If they want to talk about the matters of business and all things serious, then do that. Some of the best business relationships have resulted from talking about things that were entirely unrelated.

Getting clients from networking is an art not a science. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be doing a deeper dive into some of the themes in this blog. If you have a specific question or experience that you’d like to share, please drop a comment below.

Whatever networking you choose to do, it has to be consistent, so why not book your next meeow? To sign up for your free trial or to book your next meeow, just sign in here

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