Do you have a strategy for your business development?

It might be on your “to do” list, let’s help you get started.

As you’re linked in some way to Circle Networks then let’s assume that networking is part of your business development strategy and that you are looking to develop your business. Of course, it may be that you are looking for support, accountability, suppliers or lots of other things that networking can provide… but for now let’s talk business.

Do you think of networking and your fellow members in the right way? Is it just one of those things you have to do, reluctantly, and something that can be dropped at short notice? Or do you view networking with the same people as something to look forward to, people to support, and perhaps even as your best future sales people. 

Would you stand up your best customer at short notice? Probably not, but there are times when we don’t show at networking events and those there can easily form the opinion.. They aren’t committed, what if they did that to someone I introduced them to, if they show up late will they do that again? All these things go through people’s minds and we don’t even know it. If you implement a strategy then you’re taking a massive leap forward in growing your business.

Let’s get strategic. Here are some of the steps you could take to develop your strategy:

  1. Planning
  2. Intentional networking
  3. Getting equipped
  4. Action 

1. Planning – What is it that you’re selling? How many new clients do you need each month to hit your goal, can you realistically do this? How many referrals would you need to then convert to clients? Once you know this you’ll know more than the vast majority of people who go networking.

What events will you go to? If you know you can get one referral or lead from each event then you can work this into a plan.

Do you want to be a reactive networker or have everything in your diary and be proactive? Download our March events planner to book the events you’re going to attend now and then add them to your calendar.

There are a number of benefits to booking all your events. Firstly it shows the organiser that you’re committed and then knowing you’re already booked the Circle Networks leaders will be able to invite people to events to meet you (they can’t do this if they don’t know you’re going). Next, it stops anything else getting into your diary in that time slot. 

You can prepare, what if you had a 15 minute slot in your diary each week to plan your social media content and perhaps link it with what you’re talking about at networking events? You already know that people need to hear something multiple times in order for it to sink in.

Planning is a key element of your strategy.

2. Intentional Networking – rather than just turn up to networking events, what if you came prepared. Arriving prepared, like we’ve already talked about can have a huge impact on the conversations that you have at an event, and of course your results.

Going with purpose, having already made the decision on what you’re looking for and what you’re going to say at an event really does help you improve your results. The alternative is just to carry on doing what you have done in the past. How is that working out so far? Hit and miss or maybe just miss?

Being relaxed, having clarity, having a concise message and an action at the end of your short presentation that helps you stand out from the networking crowd 

It might be that you’re looking to book one great 121, after all you probably don’t have a lot of free time in your diary.

Are you making it easy for people to refer you? Just think about this for a minute, while you know your stuff, if someone is only hearing what you do and what you look for for the first time, realistically how much will they take in? How can you make it easy? Easy for people to help you?

3. Getting equipped – what? Equipped? Yes, if you can do the work in advance you can set yourself up for success. In this modern world you’re already using Zoom, but what else would make the difference?

A good quality profile photo, after all, you’re going to connect with the people that you meet and you can only make one first impression. There’s a good chance potential referrals will also check you out online and so you’ll never hear from the people who look you up but never follow up.

Does your social media and website back up what you’re promoting? Professional email address that matches what you do? Hotmail accounts just don’t give the right impression.

Having all your contact details ready to copy and paste at online networking events makes life much easier.

Calendly is a great tool to help people book meetings with you on days and times that suit them, and so makes a great tool for key people to have in order to get meetings in your diary with their referrals. Imagine that. Someone booking appointments directly into your diary.

What about testimonials? If you had testimonials already to hand could you quickly send them to someone after a meeting?

4. Action – We are big on taking action in Circle Networks. Meeting people is easy at a networking event. And if you’re like most people, you’ll have missed calls and emails while online. But it’s important to take action, review your notes to see who you can help.

If you don’t take action on the notes you’ve made, if you don’t try to help the people you’ve met at networking, why would you expect anyone to do anything to help you? 

After an event review your notes. Connect with the people you’ve met on LinkedIn, book those 121’s in to really get down to business. Write a social media post tagging in the people you’ve met or that one person who made an impact. Be the difference maker and push through inaction to make a difference to someone else.

Write out what you will do after networking events in your strategy, so that you can commit to it and it so you don’t need to think about what you’ll do, you’ll just be able to action your strategy.

Summary – Now we’ve covered the four basic steps to help you develop your networking strategy what will you do? Grab your pen and paper and get to work writing out your strategy today!

The results that you’ve had in the past don’t mean that you can’t make changes for the future. Look at what’s worked, make changes, learn from others but most of all take action today to change your tomorrow.