Word of mouth is probably the most powerful tool you can use to acquire new customers. The old adage “people buy people” still holds true today.
That means that networking and holding one to one meetings with other business owners should be part of your marketing strategy. Just spending 5 to 10 minutes talking with someone at a crowded network meeting is not enough to build a relationship and start to get referrals, which is where a one to one meeting works well.
It is primarily about building relationships, not selling, so the results take time to come through, which is why you need a simple, effective strategy.
When you attend a network meeting or business event, your aim is not to impress everyone in the room, it is to identify one or two people that you would like to get to know better. Although you can look for people with a particular type of business which you believe would generate referrals for you, it is more important to look for people who you have an instant liking for or have a connection with.
This makes it easier to create what will eventually be a productive business relationship. Remember that you are not trying to sell to the person you are talking to, you are looking to eventually sell to people they know and meet. They will only recommend you if they know, like and trust you.
Try this simple strategy (but feel free to change elements to fit your style):
As well as getting referrals, one to ones are also a useful way of building further contacts and getting advice from other business owners who have faced similar challenges to you. If you are talking with the right people, it can create a synergy which will help your business grow faster than it would otherwise.
So, to sum up, one to ones are a useful tool for any business owner, provided they are done and followed up in the right way. If you have not tried this approach before, give it a go and let us know how you get on!
If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more business advice why not follow BuBul on LinkedIn?