One of the best things you can do for your business is get out and talk to people and create genuine connection that organically highlights what you’re up to, who you serve, and what you’re passionate about.
That said, meeting someone for coffee and “shooting the shit” isn’t going to grow your business.
In fact, it is likely to fill up your calendar without creating much momentum in your business, plus it will start to erode your confidence when you don’t see those referrals flowing through.
Personally connecting with people can propel your business into new directions, but only if you do it in a powerful way. Sadly, most entrepreneurs go about it the wrong way: They either get meek about powerfully sharing their work, or go to the opposite extreme and fall into “super-selling” mode. Neither work very well in accomplishing your goal of connecting with more people who are your divine ideal clients.
Strike a balance to get the most out of your professional meet-ups by following my tips to maximize these opportunities and build relationships that are mutually beneficial:
1. Make sure you have a solid purpose and intention for the meeting.
Before you meet with someone, ask yourself, “What do I want this meeting to be about? What is the ideal outcome I want to create?” Then, start your meeting by asking the other person, “What would be the ideal outcome of this meeting for you?” By being clear on what you both want to accomplish, you can limit the time-wasting aspects of in-person meetings by keeping the meeting focused on meeting your mutual goals.
2. Always come from generosity.
At the end of the day, we always want to be the person that people want to spend time with because it feels mutually beneficial. When you come from curiosity, ask questions, give what you want to be given and really listen, both of you will get so much value out of the experience.
You will also discover that your genuine interest in others often results in others’ genuine interest in you. If you aren’t met with that interest, that is a strong signal that this isn’t a person to continue to invest time and energy into. We want to build relationships with those who also want an equal energy exchange.
3. Yes, it’s important to talk about your business.
But rather than giving your pitch, come with curiosity. Tell them what you do, who you serve, and describe your ideal client. Then ask, “From your perspective, what’s the best way for me to get in front of my ideal client? Do you know of any places I could speak where these people commune? Do you have any suggestions on how I can move my business forward?
This is a great way to share about your business and seek the wisdom from people you meet with. Through this approach, you’ll see whether your program resonates with them or not. You’ll also start to recognize whether this person is going to continue to be helpful to you… or not.
4. Identify the people you feel will continue to help you in your business and make a plan to stay in meaningful dialogue with them.
If the person across the table offers thoughtful responses to your questions, wants to introduce you to people and seems to be a “connector” – someone who naturally wants to connect people – then you know this is someone with whom you’ll want to build a relationship.
On the other hand, if you ask questions and they come up empty-handed, it’s probably not someone to invest in, energetically.
Before saying goodbye, strategize how you can stay in ongoing, meaningful dialogue so you can build this initial connection into a mutually satisfying relationship.
Get your 2018 off to a powerful start by sitting down this week and brainstorming 5 people in your existing network with whom you think could build momentum in your business over the next year. Then, reach out to them to set up meetings with them before the end of January..
Review the tips above before each of your meetings to keep them on the right track.
I would love to hear about your experience and how this shifts the momentum in your business
Tara Butler Floch