Designing a Business Networking Campaign—Part 3

I want to finish this discussion of creating a business networking campaign by giving you seven additional components of your toolkit for this marketing effort.  Remember, this is not intended to be a complete list of items needed to market your business.  These are items that will enhance your networking activities in a face to face environment. 

Today’s list includes items that you will use after the first meeting or two, as you work to enhance understanding of you, your business, and what constitutes a good referral.

8. A List of Your Memberships and Affiliations.  This is a great way to see if you and person you are talking with might have mutual acquaintances or business associates.  It may also lead to an introduction to someone in one of your organizations that you had been hoping to meet.

9. Photos of Awards and Certificates Earned by You and Your Staff.  These can be almost as powerful as testimonials, use them.

10. Articles You Have Published, or in Which You Are Mentioned.  Writing articles, or having a blog and posting consistently, is a great way to become recognized as an expert in your field.  Being quoted or mentioned in a professional article is also noteworthy.  These clippings should be saved and put into a display notebook.  People like to know they are working with experts.

11. New Product or Service Announcements or Press Releases.  As you network, make sure the people who might potentially retain your services, or refer others to you, are immediately informed of news about your company.  In addition to submitting these announcements to news outlets, you can also hand these out at meetings, or post them on your website and social media platforms you participate in.

12. Items that Help You Explain Your Business to Your Network.  These can include you annual report, capability statement and prospectus, mission statement or service pledge, even a written narrative history of your company.

13. Client or Customer Proposals, Bid Sheets, or Marketing Letters You Have Written to Existing Clients.  I’m not suggesting you give these out to someone else, but keeping them “top of mind” will come in handy if you are at a networking event and have the opportunity to talk to a prospect in depth.

14. Articles on Trends Affecting Your Target Market.  Keeping up with issues and news items that are important to people helps you to be able to target your conversation, and subsequently, your products and services more directly to your prospects you want to turn into clients.

That completes the list of collateral materials you want to begin to gather and keep in your networking campaign toolkit.  Having these items stored in a specific place in your office and easily accessed will facilitate the ongoing conversations that are a part of this marketing campaign.

Obviously I feel that business networking should be an important part of marketing yourself and your company…I’ve devoted three posts to this subject.  I began by pointing out that social media has transformed how many people do business.  Rather than just reading ads and visiting several vendors to find what they want, prospects are now looking for recommendations from trusted sources.  This new reality compels business owners to adjust their marketing.  Creating a Business Networking Campaign must be a part of this new thinking.

Posted in Branding, Expert Marketing, Selling