Growing your business in this tough economy can present overwhelming challenges, especially if your approach relies on outdated marketing techniques. Despite economic indicators showing signs of rebound, the recovery is projected to be slow and difficult, and it appears that all of us are in the same boat. We will face increasing competition, reduced sales, and a shrinking number of prospective leads for some time to come.
With less income and reduced savings, it is very important for you to take a detailed look at how your marketing budget is being distributed. It is important to make every cent count in order to generate the biggest possible bang for the buck. While very few marketing opportunities can match the high impact and low cost of internet marketing, one strategy stands on a comparative level – business networking. Most business owners learn very quickly that word of mouth is one of the highest impact, lowest cost, and most effective forms of marketing available. Unfortunately, most do not know how to employ effective techniques to capitalize on this fact.
You want to put yourself in front of qualified prospects, and these days there are several hundred business networking opportunities available in the Phoenix, Arizona area alone. The choices are daunting and include dozens of business mixers, social events, leads groups, chamber of commerce events, business lunches and more each week. How can you sort through the clutter to find networking opportunities that represent the best ROI? The scope of information can quickly lead to overload, and at the end of the day you may find that you’ve invested a lot of valuable time but have gained very little result. To network effectively, you need to do more than just pass out business cards that will most likely later be thrown in the garbage.
Structured business networking offers several benefits that will help you maximize income and results in a minimal amount of time. Key features to look for in a highly effective, structured business networking event include:
- Exclusivity for your category, where competitors are not allowed to market products to your network simultaneously and drown out the effectiveness of your message.
- A sense of obligation between participants, where other network members are recognized or rewarded in some way for their referrals to your business.
- An opportunity to develop relationships with participants, where other members are encouraged and provided the opportunity to learn more about, and care about, your products and services.
- A good supply of local business and community leaders, where members have some significant impact in the community and are in a good position to serve as a strong source of unlimited referrals for your business.
- Quality control. Your networking group should have methods in place to properly verify each member for the highest possible integrity and quality of services. Businesses that cannot be verified as offering a superior quality of service should be excluded, ensuring that businesses you refer to your friends and colleagues will do a good job for you.
Most networking opportunities out there today fall short in at least one, or more, of these critical areas. Are you wasting valuable time and money with a buck-shot approach to marketing, instead of focusing your efforts to achieve greater results with less cost? As you can imagine, establishing your business as a quality services provider in a network of well-connected community leaders who are dedicated to your products and services can work wonders for your income potential. You will find yourself, over time, with a team of highly effective sales professionals working together to help you achieve success.
Tempe Professionals LeTip is one such structured business networking event and provides high quality business networking facilities for members based primarily in Ahwatukee, Chandler, Phoenix and Tempe. Member attendance is required, only one participant per business category is allowed, and members are expected to provide tips and remain loyal to their base. Relationships are formed amongst members through frequent, structured meetings.
There are other groups out there similar to Tempe Professionals that provide structured, effective networking. Chapters are usually established to focus efforts on a particular region, such as Scottsdale, the west valley, and more. If you find that the Tempe Professionals meeting area (in Chandler) is far away from your business location, contact me and I can help put you in touch with a similar chapter located near you.