James Klingensmith loves people, and especially, loves to help people! James is the i Take The Lead http://www.itakethelead.com franchisee for Colorado. When professionals express an interest in visiting one of his groups, he shares these 10 Reasons to Attend our Referral Groups:
1. To increase your visibility. Establishing top of mind awareness is critical in any marketing campaign, and make no mistake about it; attending business networking events is a key marketing strategy if done properly. One of the most important elements-and one of the most overlooked-to getting the biggest bang for your networking buck is to make sure your face and your message get in front of the same-and the right-people on an ongoing basis.
2. To start relationships that will lead to strategic alliances, joint ventures, and referrals. Contrary to popular belief, very few people walk away from a few hours spent at a business networking event with a fistful of contracts. Meeting people at the networking function is merely the important first step towards reaching your client attraction goals. It’s what you do after the event that is more important. Follow-up is key to deepening the relationships that will increase your bottom line.
3. To stay current on trends in your industry (and those of your target market). Attending networking events given by “i Take The Lead” allows you to glean information about current and future trends. The information you gather at these functions can easily give you a leg up on your competition.
4. To become connected to key influences in your industry and within your target market. Instead of going to every business networking event in town, select the referral group you attend wisely and attend regularly. With i Take The Lead you will get the biggest return on your investment of time, money, and energy.
5. To learn from and to be motivated by powerful speakers. i Take The Lead has speakers who are experts in fields that will be of interest to you and to your target market. In addition to imparting important information, many of these speakers can often be the spark that jolts you into action.
6. To find suppliers and solutions to your problems. A lot people think of referral groups as a place to pursue business. Equally important though, is the fact that we might be able to give business to other attendees and solve some of our problems at the same time. Referral groups can be a great place to find accountants, printers, salespeople, etc. for yourself and for your clients.
7. To hone your marketing message. Use your referral group to practice and refine your elevator speech. Make sure it conveys, in 30 seconds or less, what solutions you provide, for whom you provide them, and the benefits of doing business with you. Practice, practice, practice until you feel confident that you are conveying your message in the most powerful and compelling way.
8. To socialize. Human beings are social animals and need the type of stimulation available when interacting face-to-face with others. Today, as more and more people work out of their attics, basements, or spare bedrooms, it has become increasingly important for us to socialize, recharge our batteries, and preserve our sanity.
9. To recruit talent. If you are looking to expand your business and hire staff, business networking events are a good starting point for your exploration of the marketplace. You will be able to enter into conversations with potential employees and get clear on what your needs are. You may well find what you are looking for right in front of you!
10. To uncover the “hot buttons” of your target market. To deliver powerful solutions that will make life easier for members of your target market, you’ve got to know what challenges they face and what they are looking for. Capitalize on the conversations you have at every business networking opportunity to uncover what makes prospective clients tick and what ticks them off. Then create products or services that will alleviate their pain and make you a hero/in their eyes.