In mid-January, I received an invitation to attend a "Purpose Driven Networking" seminar. I signed up and while the information was geared more toward smaller businesses, I found it to be helpful.
Then, networking has been all over the blogs I follow so, as I said, the good Lord is speaking to me. If you've been reading this blog for any period of time, you know I hate "networking." But with the right attitude and the right intentions, networking can be fun and rewarding.
Here are a few truths that resonated with me and are hopefully helpful to you:
I linked to this article in BusinessWeekOnline a week or so ago and do so again to highlight a wonderful, easy, and practice-building idea that is nothing but organization and intentionality.
An insurance agent highlighted in the article, John Dierolf, writes a letter or note to his customers once a quarter (once a month for his larger customers). Then, and here's the take-a-way, he has an assistant create two more additional addressed envelopes that he places in a file folder for three and then six months later. This file folder is his tickler file.
So, if you get a letter from him on January 1, you can expect another one three months later and then a second one three months after that. This obviously takes time. So, why would he invest the time? He does it because this systems causes him to intentionallythink about his clients and make contact.
Ask yourself, how much time do you spend actively thinking about your clients and how you can help them, i.e., being proactive? Then ask yourself how much time you spend being reactive -- responding rather than creating? If you're like most professionals, you spend the vast majority of your time in the latter category yet you know that it is self-limiting in terms of both growth and income. So, do something today that begins to create a different future for you.
I advocate regular contact with existing clients and referral sources and one way to do that is via a newsletter and I like newsletters for a variety of reasons. However, there is nothing better than a personal touch and a letter -- or better yet, a handwritten note -- is a wonderful and easy tactic.
Your action step today is to go through your client list as well as your network of referral sources, friends, and colleagues and identify those people to contact.
Your next action step is to create the tickler system and alert those who provide administrative support to you (if you're lucky to have administrative support) of the system.
Your third action step is to begin writing the notes and/or letters to a few people at a time (don't overwhelm yourself or else this initiative will surely fail). Create those two addressed envelopes and place them in your tickler file.
Then, repeat action step #3 on a daily or weekly basis.
We'll be instituting this idea here at Mercer Capital and I'll keep you apprised of the results,