A Little Taste of the Success to Come Later
It’s no secret that we all want to do business with people whom we know and trust. So, how do we build rapport and create trust with new contacts at networking events? One way is by offering value-added advice–solid, helpful information provided out of a genuine concern for another person – without a sales pitch. It can actually endear them to you.
Let’s say you’re a real estate agent talking with someone at a networking event who isn’t ready to buy a home today, but is heading in that direction. You could say something like: “Well, I know you’re not interested in buying a home right now. But, when you’re ready to start looking, I highly recommend checking out the north part of town. A lot of my clients are seeing their homes appreciate in the 10 to 20 percent range, and from what I understand, the city is thinking about building another middle school in that area.”
By doing that you’ve just made an ally without being too salesy, and an ally can become a client in the future quicker than a cold call can. A statement like this demonstrates your expertise, so he or she will remember you when ready to move. This model works for consultants, CPAs, accountants, financial planners, coaches–just about anyone in a service-based industry in which knowledge is the main product. If you’re concerned about giving away your intellectual capital for free, look at it this way: few people are going to sign up to do business with you if they’re not sure you can do the job. In the absence of a tangible product, you have nothing but your technical expertise to demonstrate that you have the goods.
Give potential clients a little test drive - A Little Taste od the Success to Come Later" to show how it would feel to do business with you. But don’t go overboard! Just give them something they can try on to see if it works. Not only will this open up a good conversation with new contacts while you’re out networking, if you play your cards right, whom do you think they’ll go to when they’re in need of your kind of service?