The key is finding quality clients that you can build lasting relationships with.
If you are in an industry that relies on excellent service, the majority of new business comes from referrals from satisfied clients. How do you turn contacts from LinkedIn, networking events, or other functions into clients?
1. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
When searching for new contacts, keep your target audience in mind. Attending industry-specific networking events, participating in online forums, and reaching out to previous relevant contacts will prove more effective than handing out your business card to everyone you see. When it comes to reeling in contacts, work smarter—not harder.
Word of mouth still reigns king of conversion rates. When a friend, coworker, or family member recommends a product or service, the likelihood of business retention skyrockets. Make sure you are reaching out—respectfully—to your current contacts and ask them to keep you in mind when considering your next project. As long as you have a good relationship and great customer service, people will come back for more—and bring their friends. Do not be hesitant to spread out your feelers and rekindle friendships; as long as you are genuine, people will appreciate expanding their network.
3. ASK QUESTIONS
When meeting with a prospective client, avoid rushed or transparent sales techniques. Instead, focus on their business needs. Get a feel for their current situation and ask questions about any holes or improvements that are needed. Primary networking meetings should NOT be a sales meeting. Instead, begin to build a relationship that is based on human connection and is genuine. A prospective client will be turned off quickly if they think you are only meeting with them to sell a service. Again, quality over quantity—treat them well and they will tell their friends.
4. FOLLOW UP
After your primary meeting, set up a date in a reasonable time frame for your next meeting (about a month after initial meeting is recommended). Add your new contact on LinkedIn and other relevant social media platforms. Be sure to keep in contact and follow through when promised. Continue to develop your relationship and trust with one another. With time, planning, consistency, and practice, networking and developing relationships will begin to pay off.
President and founder of DVI, Aaron Boerger realized early in life that he had a unique combination of x-ray vision and business acumen for seeing the weaknesses that held businesses back – and the ability to define the right tools, technology and strategy to make them stronger.
From founding a successful technology support business in his early teens, to serving as Chief Operating Officer for several companies in the financial, technology and marketing industries, Aaron has developed a reputation for reinventing technology implementation tactics – and the willingness to tell people not what they want to hear, but what they need to hear, in order to achieve success without overwhelm.
Aaron will always go the extra mile to provide the accountability and support his clients need to achieve their goals, yet isn’t afraid to tell them when they are doing something wrong.