Hello Awesome People!
If you are in the Small Business / Entrepreneur scene you probably have heard of the term “Coffee Chat” at some point. If you are Business Networking for clients, this is a CRITICAL part of your strategy which I cannot emphasize enough.
Today, I had a chat with an awesome client of mine (who shall rename nameless, and I have utmost respect for her) about this powerhouse topic. She has recently started getting into Networking Events, however she has found that she isn’t getting the immediate returns that she was expecting and hoped, in terms of sales results.
However as we talked, I found out that she hasn’t been following up with these potential prospects by setting up Coffee Chats and the like, after the networking events. This immediately became a red flag as one of the clear key reasons why she hasn’t been getting any results (as in other areas she is outstanding. She is a high end ethical operator, with a great website & sales materials).
Thinking about what I went through once upon a time, I can totally relate. When I first started out years ago, I went to plenty of networking events, met lots of great people and realized really quickly that I still had no clients and my bank balance really didn’t like me much at all. As I continually reviewed my own behaviour, through trial and error and improvements, I worked out quickly I need to meet these potential prospects and possible business partners one on one, to get anywhere.
I then set myself an objective which was realistic and attainable – meet 1 x New Person in a Coffee Chat per 1 x Networking Event. By following this strategy it didn’t take me long to improve my situation and build on my success. In fact, I started picking up work very quickly – be it people directly hiring me or say getting referrals (equally I am always open to help refer people as well).
In thinking this through, this was the mechanism I came up to explain this:
– To hire me (or anyone) you need lots of information. What better way to get that across over coffee or lunch?
As I picked up clients who were starting out, I started advising them to do Coffee Chats. This little method has been proven to work – they started picking up lots of clients and we found the conversion rate is usually around 1 out 5 to 1 out of 3 (20 to 33%) of the people you chat with one on one, will become a client. Which means, as one of your means of marketing, and increase your chances of gaining a new client, set up 5 x Coffee Chats.
As one of the original organisers of a long running popular business networking concept, we recommend this format with all attending networkers and it is one of the main pillars of marketing that got my business base up and running, and still going today.
My advice and learnings? As I said to my awesome client today (and I promised to write her this blog too to help) – if you are networking for commercial results PLEASE do at least 1 x Coffee Chat per 1 x Meeting You go too. I personally keep an eye out for potential clients or business / referral partners and then ask for a nice coffee or lunch. Get to know them and what their business is all about, see if you can help them and then take it from there.
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Love your work, and thank You for the read, enjoy the thoughts, Edward Zia sign out – Stay Awesome!!
Edward Zia is a Marketing Mentor and Business Leader who have worked for a very long time in Marketing and loves helping Awesome Small Business Owners get more clients.