When I became self-employed around four and a half years ago, I had no client bank and was new to the area. Starting from scratch after many years in the corporate world. I was advised to ‘try networking’ as this would build contacts and generate business.
I soon learned – the hard way- that networking is an art and a skill, and needs strategy and understanding. You need to learn how to be referable, what your ideal target market is, and who are likely to be good referral partners. You don’t gain that understanding just by attending an event where everyone is selling at you, you’re selling back, and you leave with a fistful of business cards but no further forward.
Jacky’s courses help develop a keen understanding of how to have an impactful ‘elevator pitch’ as well as giving a fascinating insight into how to deal with different personality types through her Room Full of Referrals workshop. This was a great way of understanding how people wanted to be informed, and how to understand and empathise with their Weltanschauung. This is another great lightbulb moment from Jacky- the platinum rule, that being to treat people how they want to be treated.
Whatever your vision for your business, you will need a support structure around you. The return on investment from attending Jacky’s courses has not just been for me, but for the people I’ve referred business to because I’ve learned to know, like and trust them. It’s also given what can’t be accurately measured- having a referral community, being more confident, and growing as a person as well as in business.
In a networked world, word of mouth marketing is a key way of closing more sales, and getting in front of people where you can add value. We learn each other’s stories, and share them to build each other’s visibility, credibility and ultimately profitability in the wider community. And community is the key word- having a network can also be a support structure where shared efforts and interests bring shared rewards for everyone.