The lead-generating game is changing. People are using websites, social media, and internet advertising to generate new client consultations and close deals, but the basics can still get the job done.
Conferences and networking events were king when it came to finding new clients, and truthfully, they still are.
If you’ve found yourself wondering if they are worth it anymore, the answer is HECK YES! You can still get quality leads by attending these events, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
Not All Networking Events Are Created Equal
You might not hear it often, but you should probably skip the next accounting conference on your calendar. You’ll benefit much more from taking that money and going to a conference full of your ideal clients, rather than a room full of people within your profession.
Think about it. An event space FULL of your ideal clients. It’s like a lead gold mine. Is your firm targeting lawyers? Go to a law conference. Medical professionals? There are conferences for them too. Marketing, construction, restaurant owners, the list goes on. Ask yourself what type of clients you want more of and go to their events.
Once you get in front of your potential clients you can start working your magic. But don’t go in without a plan.
Don’t Be a Glad-hander – GET RESULTS
These events are full of people walking around, chatting for a few minutes about their services, and exchanging cards. Then everyone leaves, happy they’ve made 4 or 5 new connections. That’s great if you went for the social aspect, but not so great if you went to get clients.
The good news is, there’s an easy three-step process for getting your new connections scheduled for an appointment in your calendar and theirs.
How to Walk Away with Meetings on the Calendar
Here are a few tricks to get a meeting booked while you are AT THE EVENT:
Step 1: Start Every Intro with: “I help _______ get _______ using _______.”
This is a great way to get to the point. It clearly tells the potential client what you can do to help them and how you will do it.
Here’s an example: “Hi, I’m David and I help small business owners improve their bookkeeping using cloud-based accounting.”
That will work a whole lot better than “I’m a Partner at Cristello & Sons, LLP”, because honestly:
- No one cares
- No one knows what that means
- No one will remember that
What people will remember is the person you can help them solve their problems.
Keep in mind, the whole point of introducing yourself is to make them understand how you can help them.
32 Free Accounting Workflow Templates & Checklists
Step 2: Ask For the Meeting
Once you realize you’ve made a good connection, just ask for the meeting. It’s much harder for someone to deny meeting with you when you ask them in person, so use that to your advantage.
Your ask doesn’t have to be complicated either.
It can be as simple as saying: “I would love to chat more with you and we don’t have enough time at this event, how about we schedule a time for next Tuesday afternoon for a call. I’d love to learn more about _____.”
This simple ask shows you care about what they do, is direct, and doesn’t give them much room to say no. With this approach, you’ll be hearing plenty of yes’s.
Step 3: Send a Calendar Invite
Simply planning to meet isn’t enough. Take it one step further by physically adding it to your (and their) calendar. Be sure to bring your phone and be ready to send a calendar invite. Collect their email and phone number and BOOM! You’ve got a consultation scheduled for next week. It’s that simple.
Once you’ve landed your first scheduled consultation, turn around and repeat the three-step process until you’re fully booked!
Make a Change Today
Our advice to you: don’t just read over this article and stash it away in the “I’ll get to it later” section of your life. Instead, ask yourself these next questions, and you’ll be surprised with how quickly you are closing new deals and growing your firm.
- What networking events are you going to this month?
- Which conferences do you have scheduled this year?
- Are you growing your firm by attending the next CPE conference?
Be real with your answers and set a plan to ensure you are putting yourself in rooms with opportunities.
And remember, for every single networking event you attend, the goal is to walk away with no less than 3 new prospective client consultations booked on the calendar. Good luck!