Planting seeds: How to effectively find and nurture your paying clients

When it comes to making money and furthering your business planning, there’s one question on your mind: Where to find clients?

You know you need to make money so you can put the kids through school, go on holidays and do all the lovely things you do in life. You also know that paying clients are the key to making money… so where are they, seriously?

The quick, short answer is: Your paying clients are all around you!

Yes, your paying clients are all around you!

I hear your groan and the words “but how?” Well, it’s all in the way you look at networking.

To be very honest, the first few networking events I attended were awful. The first one I cried all the way home on the bus. True story.

Then I found a quote by Ivan Misner: “Networking is more about farming than it is about hunting.”

With that in mind, I set about seeing networking in a new light: planting seeds. I started looking for people that I really wanted to know and build relationships with. Obviously, this is time-consuming, but, it works!

Farming brings results

My third year of networking and I have had some truly amazing collaborations with inspiring women. Yes, I’m co-authoring my third book with Grace whom I met through networking.

Results speak volumes!

So how exactly did I plant those seeds, nurture them and get all the great rewards? More importantly, how will this help you…

First dates…

When you are meeting a date for the first time, would you rush in with arranging the wedding planner and child-minders on the first date?

No!

You’d take your time, get to know the person. Decide if you want to spend more time and invest emotionally with them. After a while, you’d then pop the question, get married and decide on whether to have children!

The same applies to networking and nurturing relationships. Go over to the people you want to get to know, ask them about them. Be interested in what they do. That way you’ll find out if what you’ve got to offer fits in with them.

You’ll get to know them a bit personally and see if you click. Once you know them and have mutual business interests, it will become apparent as to whether working together would be a good thing.

If not, nothing is lost, you’ve made a great contact. If yes, get working on your collaboration!

Tips and techniques

  1. Treat your potential prospects in exactly the same way you’d like to be treated.

We are all human and like to be respected. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated and it helps open doors.

  1. Do you like business cards shoved in your face by strangers – me neither.

Best etiquette is to hand over a business card if someone is interested. Generally, I don’t give mine out like candy. If someone wants to keep in contact, they’ll ask and I’ll give a card. It’s also cheaper as decent business cards are expensive these days!

  1. Networking is the one place you can join a conversation without being rude.

Just join in. Simply make sure you speak to everyone in the group, have good eye contact and ask questions. People love filling in the gaps and it’s a great way to break the ice and make a new friend.

  1. Don’t try selling off the bat, try being helpful first.

I know we are all there to spread the word about our business, get a new client or two and make a bit of money. The best client attraction tool is being helpful. You won’t get a sale first-time, but you will build your profile as an expert… way better don’t you think?

  1. Follow-up when you say you will.

If you want to make sure people are keeping you in mind, do what you say you will. If you promise to email a link to answer a question they had, do it. Following up quickly shows your reliability and professionalism. Would you want to work with someone who promised the earth and gives nothing… didn’t think so!

Lead the way

Plant the seeds of relationship building and you will be in the lead.

So there you have it, you are the leader in this scenario now and lead with pride. Nurture the relationships you make, and that’s where you will find your paying clients.

Use these tips wherever you are, the supermarket, networking events, basically wherever there are people!

What are you going to change about the way you nurture relationships? When is your next networking event?  Go test it out.

Tell me your thoughts…

(… Sharing keeps you accountable).

Cheryl-lya is a Transition Strategist: helping women around the globe plan launch and grow successful sustainable businesses & careers. She is London based and runs workshops alongside one-to-one coaching. Contact her: call UK mobile 07527 303 911, or visit her website soulscompass.net Say ‘hello’ or share your joys via email: cheryllyas@btinternet.com

 

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