Networking is an important way to land your next client and grow your accounting or bookkeeping business. Networking correctly will open new opportunities for you and your firm, grow your connections, and enhance your professional profile as an influencer in your industry. When you network correctly, you will grow your confidence level and impress potential clients with your abilities.
You can increase your chances of excelling in your networking endeavors if you follow these six simple tips. Proper preparation can do wonders in helping you achieve networking success as you increase your bottom line and expand your business. Become the top-level professional you were born to be by improving your networking skills today.
1. Rehearse Your 30-Second Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a concise sales speech lasting approximately thirty seconds. You need to share your sales pitch in the time it would take you to ride the elevator to your prospect’s floor. When you’re in the middle of a networking event, that is not the time to create an elevator pitch. You need to prepare beforehand so you can share your pitch as clearly and concisely as you can to as many people that will listen. Quickly get to the point, share the key content, and make a solid first impression with potential clients. Find a way to stand out from the crowd so that your prospect remembers you and forgets any other competitors who are trying to land their next client.
2. Create the Perfect Call to Action
You need to go to the networking event with a clear call to action in mind so that you can easily share that with your prospects. This call to action is something you say at the end of every conversation that will benefit you and your firm. It can range from encouraging the prospect to check out your website, visit your social media pages, sign up for your newsletter or email blasts, or become your next client. When you gently guide your prospect in a positive way to comply with the call to action, they will more likely respond in a proactive manner. Make sure you effectively follow up with each lead you get from the networking events. Failure to follow up is a key reason people lose leads.
3. Be Prepared with Enough Business Cards
Don’t get caught unprepared at these networking events. Carry an adequate amount of business cards with you that you hand out to each prospect that you speak with. Your business card should have a fresh and dynamic look, featuring all the pertinent contact information, that will set you apart from your competition. This business card is the one thing–aside from their first impression of you–that the prospect will take with them when they leave the event. You want them to remember you and know exactly how to get in touch with you.
4. Plan Your Networking Strategy
Creating your own action plan for the event will help you to knock the ball out of the park and land your next client. Be proactive and procure a copy of the attendee list prior to the event so you can effectively plan your communication strategy. Remember that your competition will be attending, and you need to act quickly and make positive connections with the people who are most likely to work with your firm. Reviewing the attendee list beforehand will help you plan the strategy for which prospect to speak to first. You never want to waste time at a networking event. That defeats the purpose of attending so you can find your next client.
5. Take Care to Dress Appropriately
Remember that making a good first impression will go a long way toward securing new clients and cultivating a positive professional relationship with them. You need to take extra care with personal grooming that day and dress accordingly in the proper professional attire. Dress the part of the power play you are or are striving to be. Wear professional looking attire that shows you care about your work. This then translates to the potential client that you’ll care about the services you provide to them. Make a statement with your clothing and overall look that shows how professional you are. However, stay away from dramatic colors and bold makeup or grooming that can detract from the positive conversations you want to have with prospects.
6. Make Sure You Eat Before Networking
No one likes to eat in front of people. It can become a disastrous situation; especially if you are trying to juggle a plate of food while conversing with a potential client and hoping to appear professional. It is recommended that you eat prior to attending the event. This way you won’t be hungry, and you can focus on meaningful conversations with prospects instead of eating in front of them. Additionally, you’ll minimize any chance of spilling food or drink on your clothing. Your competition may not have thought of this simple networking tip. You can now rule the networking event like a true professional who is completely focused on interacting with the right people to land the next client.
Your life as a bookkeeper or accountant is busy enough without having to waste time and energy failing at networking events. You don’t have to waste time anymore. Simply by following these six networking event tips, you can optimize your time and effort and grow your firm. Create a dynamic 30-second elevator pitch that will be remembered long after your prospect leaves the event. Clearly communicate your call to action so that it increases the chances of your success. Come prepared with enough business cards and don’t forget to hand them out to all potential clients. Proactively procure the attendee list and strategize your conversation schedule to maximize the results. Make that positive lasting impression with professional attire that meets the standards of the networking event. Eat before you go, so you never have to juggle food while trying to land the next client.
6 Tips to Land Your Next Client at a Networking Event