One-on-one meetings with individuals offers one of the best opportunities for business development, and attending organizational meetings and networking opportunities gives you the chance to meet a lot of people in a short time. That’s ideal — if you’re meeting the right people.
How can you identify the right organizations for your purposes? First, refresh your recollection of your ideal clients and referral sources, and then check the strategy that you’ve devised for meeting those people. Chances are good that your plan will include a specific description of the people you want to meet. Do (or better yet, delegate) a bit of research to find the groups that those people might attend.
If your business development plan does not provide clear guidance as to where you should network to find your ideal clients and referral sources, answer the following questions to help specify the best groups for you to attend.
- What are the common features of my ideal clients and referral sources?
- What are their common interests?
- What business circumstances concern them?
- What kind of educational opportunities might they seek?
- What are their professions likely to be?
- Will they likely attend national or local meetings?
These questions will help you to focus on where you might be able to find the kind of people with whom you should be networking.
You might also consider working backward based on substantive area of practice. For example, if you are an estate planner, think about where large numbers of people who might hire estate planners or refer clients to estate planners would congregate.
This week’s activity: take another look at the organizations whose meetings you’re attending. Is the fit good? Are you meeting enough of the right people? If not, run through this exercise and locate a few more groups to investigate.