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Thressa S

What are other ways to network

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Hello!

 

My name is Thressa and I just started today getting on the Forum. My question to you what are other ways to network to produce more clients? Do you think Vechicle wrap is a good idea? Please let me know!

 

 

 

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Hi Theresa, welcome to the forum!

 

There are some amazingly helpful people and resources here - I'm sure you'll learn everything you need to know as long as you have the time to take it all in. It can be overwhelming at first, but I promise it's not only fun it's worth it.

 

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When you ask about other ways to network, are there ways you have tried already or are you completely new to networking? I'm guessing you've told at least one friend or family member you're going to start a business and work from home...so you did network with at least one person. Unless your business is a secret (I've seen it happen) in which case you may not have networked at all.

 

The best way to start networking is to work out what you will say when people ask you:

  • What do you do?
    • With this question, what you want to communicate is some of your services. Try to figure out what the other person does before they ask you this and you can tailor your answer to the needs of that person. If you have never networked before you may want to put together an elevator speech. You can find more about elevator speeches in this thread (including a super-helpful fill in word document from Candy B.)
  • What are your rates?
    • Right after you talk about what you do there are some people that want to dive right into the rate discussion. Don't let them. Tell them your rates or packages vary depending on the services required and that you'd love to set up a time to talk further so you can see if you can help them and then you'd be happy to provide them a rate. Unless you have time to educate the potential client about rates and how $30 is not expensive right there at the networking event, you're going to want to save the discussion for a later time.
  • How long have you been in business?
    • Especially for new business owners, you do not want to answer this with a perky, "I've been in business a week and a half!" That doesn't build trust or make the potential client feel all warm and snuggly. Respond that you have been in the secretarial industry for x number of years and it was a natural transition to do it for yourself rather than someone else. This showcases your experience, not when you applied for your business license.
  • Can you do X for me?
    • Sometimes people will ask you on the spot if you know how to do something. Be careful, because you want to make sure you aren't getting sucked into giving free advice they can then go home and tell a cousin, friend, or mom and have them do the work instead of you. Be friendly and helpful, but don't give away the farm. Oh, and if you don't know how to do what they're asking, never just say "No." That shuts down the relationship. Tell them you don't take care of that but you know someone that does and you'd be happy to provide a referral. Then they will see it as a favor and it gives you a chance to follow up with them to see if they need your services. (If you don't know someone to refer them to, come to VANA and ask around, we have people that can do just about anything between all 8,500+ of us!)
While these may be the most popular questions that pop up at networking events, they are certainly not the only questions that arise. As you become more confident talking about your business you will get so that you know what people are asking for and be able to answer, but the only way to get to that point of comfort is through practice.

 

Lots of practice.

 

As for the car wrap, I've never met anyone that got a client from car wrap...people just don't make split decisions about outsourcing secretarial work when they're driving down the road and stop at a red light. At least, not in my experience. If anyone has experienced anything different I'm sure they'll let you know!!

 

Hope this helps. Also check out the links in my signature line to get some helpful starter tips on how to use the forum! You're going to have a blast here, just get ready and hang on for the ride! :lol:

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Hi Theresa and welcome to VANA!

 

Jenny, you are truly a great resource. Your advice is a good reminder to all of us!

 

Cheers,

 

Elizabeth

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Next week I'm attending my very first networking event and want to be sure to put my best foot forward. I've been reading some of these tips and finding them really helpful... so thanks to everyone!

 

Jenny, in your note above you mention a "super-helpful fill in word document from Candy B." which can be found following the elevator speech thread. I did follow, but wasn't able to find Candy's document. Is there another way you can help me find it?

 

Again, thanks for all the great tips on networking!

 

Libby

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Well, if you are looking for some network to get more clients and grow your business then you should join professional referral network on some referral websites. Joining some referral network will help you to easily get business referrals and clients for your business services.

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