Networking is not about selling your product or service in the now … or the short term. In fact, if you want to become a Savvy Networker, you will learn to educate your fellow networkers so that they can become willing and able walking talking billboards for you. When you do this consistently and frequently, you will create an army of advocates for you singing your praises to everyone they know.
Word of mouth marketing gets put into play AFTER people have grown to know, like, and trust you. So the majority of your time early on in your networking efforts should be spent in building relationships with people so that they can see and experience you as likeable and trustworthy.
Relationship building takes time, patience, and effort on your part. And, the time you make to help others get to know you better will be well worth the effort when the power and the buzz of word of mouth begins to take hold for you in any group.
When a trusted third party tells someone how wonderful you are – people tend to see that in a different light than if you were to tell them yourself. A third party endorsement carries much influential weight and will be much better received when it comes from someone who is known, liked, and trusted. Word of mouth marketing, in this way, paves the way for a “warmer” reaction when a sales call is actually put into play.
So, how do you get Word of Mouth Marketing working for you? You have to start, first and foremost, by building mutually beneficial relationships with people. Look for the win-win in your interacations. Find ways to be helpful and supportive to the folks you are building relationships with. Find ways to send them business referrals. Start spreading great word of mouth for others. People will talk favorably about you and your products or services whey they have been “wowed” by you. Here are 5 ways to get to WOW with your networking buddies.
- Be curious about their business. Ask thoughtful questions and then LISTEN for the answers.
- Ask them how you can help them to build their business
- Look for ways to help them based on what they’ve said
- Send them strong referrals and make connections for them whenever you can
- Follow up with a friendly “thank you” whenever someone does something kind for you
WAIT JUST A MINUTE! You might be thinking, “Hey wait a minute, I thought this was about how I could get someone to start spreading good word of mouth about me … this sounds like I’m supposed to be doing that for other people!”
Do unto others as they would like to have done unto them … and in the universal karma of networking the same magic will happen for you. Go ahead and try it, what have you got to lose?