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That Awkward Moment in a Networking Conversation

May 17, 2010

You know the situation.  You get introduced to another business person by a mutual acquaintance who thinks you two can work together, gain insights from each other, and find some “synergy” between your businesses.  So you arrange an introductory call (referrals can come from the most unlikely places).

You look at their website. They look at yours and you chat on the phone.  And you know what, your mutual friend was right – there are some benefits or complementary skills/products/services that you each bring to the table.  And then you get to that point in the conversion.  That point where you both agree – but what to do next.  Yes, you can leave it at “I’ll keep you in mind as I am going about my business”, but that is such a limp-wristed handshake.

Here are suggestions to take advantage of a business networking connection:

  • Guest write for each other’s blog or newsletter
  • Offer to send a letter of introduction to your clients if they’ll do the same for you
  • Cross link to each other’s web site (we all need more backlinks)
  • Have them invite their customers and prospects to your next seminar/ webinar/ whitepaper offer and they should do the same in return
  • Give them a special offer they can pass on to their customers. For example, "Special Offer Just for Jack’s Customers – 10% off because you know Jack and if you like Jack, we know you’ll like us too."
  • Each of you agree to talk about the 3 to 5 clients you really want to get, but have never been able to sell to – see if there is any overlap between your wants and their haves. If not, then see which ones you both might want to mutually pursue. Customer insights from conversations like these can be invaluable. 
  • And of course – be sure to connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else social

 

Do any of these strike a chord?  Any other suggestions you would share a great, low risk way to get an alliance off the ground?  Let me hear from you.

leadingresults
Written by leadingresults

Leading Results helps businesses stop wasting money on marketing and improves their business development results by putting POWER in their marketing. The POWER is the Processes, Organizational Support, Why (you do what you do), Expertise and Refer-ability. You get strategy, tactics and execution. We work with both individual businesses and businesses as part of a larger ecosystem. Be more profitable.

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