R is for Referrals, Part 5: Get Connected

One of our basic needs as humans is to become connected to others, making our time on this planet more rich and valuable. One of your basic needs as a professional is to connect with other like-minded professionals that make your time in business more rich and valuable.

While there are many ways to connect with others, ranging from your general membership mixers to your Meetups to just hanging out at your local pub, some ways are more effective and efficient than others. 

Here are my top 4 suggestions:
  • Identify who is in regular contact with your target market, but is not in competition with you. For the purposes of this post, I'll use CPAs who focus on serving business owners for this example. CPAs need to know other CPAs who do not have their target market, so this might be forensic accountants, accountants who focus on doing personal, 1040 returns, etc.
  • Additionally, they'll want to find attorneys in all different areas of practice (litigation, business formation, divorce, estate planning, just to name a few), insurance providers (residential and commercial), bankers, investment bankers, realtors, business owners of all kinds, and investment professionals. 
  • Once you've identified the type of professional, next determine where you can meet this type of person ... yes, you guessed it, effectively and efficiently. Because the purpose of getting connected is to form a strategic partnership (where you exchange valuable leads), I suggest choosing professionals with a high-level of integrity, a great reputation and those that are just plain likeable. You'll find these folks at Rotary, volunteering at charities, members of private and country clubs, at networking events of all kinds (their associations, general get-togethers, etc.) and through contacts you already have. If you already know an attorney, chances are unbelievably positive she knows other attorneys, and you can also ask if she knows any of the other providers you've identified.
  • You can also host events that are either personal or professional. I enjoy attending annual "client appreciation mixers," luncheons, dinners, fundraisers, auctions, and sporting events. If events that are beneficial to you are nowhere to be found, create one! For about 15 years, I've hosted casual events in my home, luncheons and parties. I get to invite people I want to know better, and have them over to enjoy some good food and great company.
Your assignment for now is to identify a dozen complimentary professional categories and make a list of where you might find them. Next, we'll discuss what's next: how to stay connected.

Honorée turns service providers into rainmakers, average producers into rock-stars, and dreams into reality. For more information on how she can specifically help you or your organization, click here.

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