One of the first questions asked during our Complimentary Marketing Consultations is, "What is the most effective method you use currently to obtain new business?" The response received 90% of the time is, "Word of Mouth and Business Cards." It often turns out that this method makes up the bulk of their print marketing process. You may be thinking, "So? That's what I do and it works for me." It probably is working, but there is a high probability that you are not obtaining near as many new clients as you would like. One major problem is that this is only one part of a process and not a process in itself. There are a couple of other issues with this method of marketing as well.
Business networking is something many successful business owners partake in, whether it be during trade association events or through a formally structured network organization that meets at regular intervals. These are excellent venues for meeting potential new clients, but this shouldn't be your only focus. You should be on the lookout for potential strategic referral partners as well. A perfect candidate to gain referrals from is someone that offers services that compliment your own. For example, if you are a business coach you may want to meet an accountant, a business attorney, a printing company, a web designer, and others who could potentially benefit your clients. It would easy for these businesses to refer one another.
Setup a meeting as soon as possible with this new contact and learn about their business. Ask what it is they do, what sets them apart from their competition, who their ideal client is, and learn how you could refer each other business. Explain your business to them in the same manner. Ask for some of their marketing materials that helps educate a client you inform about your referral partner's business. Provide them with some of your materials for the same purpose. One of the most powerful tools to use in this way is a properly designed brochure that peaks the interest of a potential client. Make sure you leave business cards for your new partner to handout as well.
Put A Little Magic In Your Marketing!