We network to meet new people, start, develop and nourish relationships, serve more people with our gifts and build our businesses. When I caught myself complaining about not seeing enough new faces at a local networking meeting I paused and woke up to what it’s really all about; deeper connections.
Be happy with what you have and serve those people with everything you have.
This was advice I’d heard before; to not worry about the fact you don’t have 100 clients, but to serve the two you do have with enthusiasm.
I guess I heard it and didn’t let that fully absorb until this week when I realized it was stupid to think someone I’d just met would know, like and trust me enough to sign up for my program.
I mean, kudos to the killer sales people who have that pitch down pat to the point people whip out their credit cards the first time they hear about you.
But most of us did not go to school for marketing, sales or networking. Most of us are surviving on B-School or The Product Launch Formula, or other self-taught information we spend our nights praying is enough.
In the end, it’s not about how many clients you have, yet. It’s about nourishing deeper connections with the ones you do have.
Those people, as they get to know you, understand your purpose and mission, and trust that you are the real deal. They’ll then be more apt to not only buy your stuff, but even better, recommend your stuff to their friends.
Who are those people for you? Get out your notebook and go make a list. Even if it’s just one or two. Invite them to lunch. Pick their brains about this networking thing. Have a real, raw conversation about who they are. Be interested. Get to know them. And while you are, you’ll be doing the best “ideal client” homework I ever got.
Deeper connections are about the trust. They are about building an authentic friendship. They are about knowing and caring about people. And it’s about connecting people with others who can help them.
I remember back in the beginning of my physical therapy career I was told not to make friends with my clients. Okay, boundaries and all, I get it. The big fat but here is that a deeper relationship is what helps that client trust me, like me and refer me. A stand-offish, a little too professional, dare I say cold therapist who can’t relax and have a normal human conversation is not going to build much like or trust with their clients.
It’s okay to like your clients. It’s okay to want to be friends.
I followed the proper rules for like a second. I wasn’t good at not liking and making friends with people. I had a lot of clients as friends from early on. Clients who still recommend me and my services ten years later because they know what I do, trust the results, and can describe my talents in detail and with excitement to their friends.
Yeah, it’s okay to have more friends you guys, even client friends.
And boundaries. But that’s another blog.
You healer people can figure that out and experiment with the lines you need to draw to feel really good about what you do. That is our wheelhouse as a healer. And it’s part of what we teach.
And this is about networking. Don’t be afraid to go deeper. Don’t sit at your next networking meeting sulking about the fact that you don’t see any new faces. What about the steadfast warriors who keep showing up to see your beautiful face again and again? They are badass. You should tell them so.
What questions could you ask those people about what they do? What would you need to know about them to refer them? Have you hired them yet? Seriously, have you done business with some of the amazing people in your closest networking circles?
Sometimes I will hire the colleagues I network with so that I can talk about their services with more passion to other people I meet. Sometimes I buy their books for the same reason. Sometimes when I do that I realize just how amazing they are and continue to hire them to help me. Sometimes hiring them gives me an idea for my own business. Sometimes the experience gives me content I can write about. You’ll never know until you try it.
So next time you’re networking and you realize it’s the same people from last time, smile and look around at the badasses who showed up again. Pick one to get to know a little better this time. Ask how you can help them. Dream up collaborations. Hire them and dig deeper. It’s those deeper connections that will begin to create the shift you’ve been hoping for.
Laura Di Franco, MPT is the owner of Brave Healer Productions and a powerhouse who writes to Feng Shui her soul. She’s a 6-time published poet and Amazon Best Selling author, inspirational speaker, holistic physical therapist and third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. She was born to build a revolution of brave healers who are getting their badass, authentic voices published in order to heal the world with their words. Find her programs, podcast, books and free Facebook group for healers at www.BraveHealer.com