That becomes a familiar mantra when you are networking for your business, especially if your business is service-based. When people are thinking about how to spend their money the actual decision making is often very emotional, in spite of any time spent doing research.
It is human nature to prefer to do business with those they already know and who they already like and trust. This is often at odds with whether or not they know the same person is competent. This is why the brakes go on when someone they have just met immediately launches into a sales pitch. It is always important to be authentic — people can tell when you are not, and it only serves to undermine everything else you might have done.
The current wisdom is that on average it takes seven to nine “touch points” before someone feels you are trustworthy. (A big reason to congratulate yourself if your average is less!) Possible ways to accomplish this include:
- Email — newsletter, informational articles (tips!), personal message
- In person — coffee or lunch, invite to a networking event
- Blog post
- Tweet, Facebook post or any other form of social media
- Direct mail — no, it’s not really dead. It has become so rare that now when you send something it can really stand out.
- Webinars or teleseminars
- Coupons and other special offers
Mixing your methods up has two advantages. It allows people to choose the option that works best for them. It also means that for those who are more engaged, they get some variety, keeping their interest up.
To your business success!