Networking is a key to building a successful business. Cold calling is often unsuccessful now, where it used to be the driving force behind business growth. Currently, the preferred strategy is to work through existing relationships and networks to propel business growth. Here are tips to get started on networking in your community:
- With patients, seek referrals. Having clients give people’s name and contacts is one way to seek referrals. However, a less invasive way to do it is to ask people if they’ve had a good experience at your medical franchise, and if they have, encourage them to intentionally share about their time at your clinic.
- Ask for testimonials. This is similar to seeking referrals, but it is open to the public, rather than just direct contacts. Having people share testimonials gives credibility and can help grow your network of clients and partners in the community.
- Start a social media page. Getting your name and brand out in the social media sphere can help to drum up business.
- Our franchise at Men’s Vitality Center offers some opportunities for events. Participating gives franchisees a chance to network within the medical industry.
- As your network grows, continue to keep in touch with them. Social media can be helpful to communicate with your network, but also sending out emails, calling those you are close to, and scheduling short meetings to grab coffee if your contact is local. These are all good ways to help maintain the connection as your network grows.
- Don’t be selfish. The best network relationships are mutually beneficial. If pushing your franchise is the only motivation, the network won’t last.
The bottom line is to find opportunities to be visible in your community. Research shows, on average, it takes seven times of seeing an advertisement, a logo or a contact before you remember it. Any way you can put your name out into the community in a positive way is good. If you can share your name without paying marketing dollars, it can push your business ahead and help you to network in your community.