Let’s say you belong to a chamber of commerce or a professional organization and you believe some of the members may be good prospective clients.
You’ve been to some gatherings (or these days, virtual zoom meetings) but you really don’t know any of the members very well at this point.
So, you take a look at the membership directory, which is usually online, and do some research. And you try to guess which members are most likely to be either good clients for you or good referral sources. And you add those names to a list or database.
And then – GASP! – you call them and introduce yourself!
Something to remember: Virtually nobody does this! So, if you do it, you will really stand out (but in a good way, as we’ll see).
Remember, this is not like calling a stranger out of the blue. No, because you have a connection or affiliation with this person through the organization you belong to.
But, they still FEEL like a stranger don’t they? And your mother told you not to talk to strangers, right?
So, to be successful at reaching out and introducing yourself to those people you have some connection with takes convincing your mind that this is not a dangerous, stupid thing to do.
I recommend having a little chat with yourself along these lines:
“Well, no, I don’t really know these people. I’ve never met them and they don’t know me.” Yeah, that’s true. However, you continue…
“I joined this organization so that I could network and meet new people, right? And some of these people might be prospective clients or those who could introduce me to prospective clients.” Exactly!
“So, what might it be like if someone in my network, emailed or phoned me to introduce themselves and said something like the following:” (I suggest you actually write it out for yourself.)
“Hey Robert, I’m John Jones and I’m also a member of the Consultants Who Make a Difference Club. And I just wanted to introduce myself. Have you got a minute? I joined this group to meet and network with my fellow consultants like yourself. I took a look at your website, and I wanted to know a little more about your business.”
And if the conversation continued, at some point they would ask you about your business, right? And you’d also likely find areas of commonality and perhaps some friends you had in common. And, before you know it, you’re not a stranger anymore!
So, when you look at this introductory call from the perspective of someone calling you, it really isn’t all that horrific, is it?
And I promise they will not send a hitman to take you out!
Remember, most people are not used to getting calls like this. So you don’t want to come across like a salesperson. You want to sound more like a neighbor saying. “Hey! How are you!”
The idea is to put them at ease and learn about their business, who their clients are, etc. Look, you also want to help them if you can, so the more you know about them, the better.
Where calls like this can lead
Well, they can lead anywhere. The majority probably won’t end up with them becoming a new client. But here are some other great possibilities.
– They happen to know someone who they think could use your services (or visa versa) and introductions are made.
– They know of a valuable resource that could help you.
– You send each other to your respective websites and learn more about each other’s business.
– You ask if you can add them to your email list (never add without asking).
– An idea for a joint-venture comes out of nowhere (it’s happened to me)!
But the most important thing to realize is that most new possibilities come as a result of conversations and meetings. Period.
Nothing is more powerful. If you’re not having conversations and meetings with those in your network, for all intents and purposes, you are NOT IN THE NETWORK!
Want to try something? This is an assignment that I give to those I work with. And the results are usually far beyond what they expect.
Reach out and introduce yourself to two new people every single week. Not ten, not even five. Just two.
Anyone can manage that. And then commit to doing this for just three months, to start. That works out to about 24 connections.
Once you’ve had introductory conversations/meetings with 24 other business owners, you will no longer recognize your business – or yourself!
– You will have more confidence in what you are offering and the value you provide to your clients.
– You will have made several valuable connections that will endure for years and years.
– You will encounter dozens of new and useful ideas and resources.
– And yes, you will also have landed a few new, great clients.
I’ve seen this happen over and over again throughout the years.
All you need to do is commit to the plan and give it a shot. Are you up for it?