Being a skilled networker can therefore give you a clear advantage, whatever your industry. As a consultant, networking offers you a particularly great opportunity to promote your consultancy services and gain new clients. Here’s 6 of the best networking tips to promote and progress your consultancy business…
Attend networking events
This may seem like an obvious point, but you would be surprised by just how many consultants forget the importance of networking events. It’s all too easy to become too busy and overwhelmed with your workload and neglect to find the time to network. As a consultant, you can often gain new clients through the professional connections you’ve made, so it’s essential you dedicate time to forging these relationships. Networking events provide you with the ideal platform to promote your consultancy services to potential clients and meet like-minded professionals.
Present yourself confidently
As a consultant, people look to you for expert and professional advice in a wide variety of areas. To inspire confidence in the services you provide, it’s vital you always look well-presented and ready to work. But presenting yourself confidently doesn’t just mean being smartly dressed. It’s important you also make eye contact with new connections and offer a firm handshake. First impressions count, so it’s essential you portray yourself as a trustworthy and respectable representation of your consultancy business.
Don’t ‘collect’ business connections
Whilst it makes great business sense to form a large circle of professional associates, it’s also important not to simply ‘collect’ connections. This can happen if you’re more concerned with meeting every single person in the room rather than engaging in meaningful conversations. Remember, it should be quantity over quality when it comes to forging business relationships as a consultant. Prospective clients and professional connections are not likely to be impressed by an unnaturally quick introduction followed by your business card. Instead, before or during the networking event, target a few key business people who you believe can benefit your business the most. Focus on establishing a real and genuine connection with these professionals and you’re much more likely to see your hard work converted into clients.
Have your elevator pitch ready
As we previously pointed out, it’s obviously important you’re not so focused on selling your consultancy business that you appear insincere to potential business connections. However, you should be prepared for situations where other professionals you meet enquire further about your work as a consultant. This is the perfect opportunity to present them with your carefully crafted elevator pitch; a short, informative summary of your services. To ensure you present your best business self, here are our tips on how to write and learn an impressive elevator pitch before your next networking event.
Carry your business cards
Exchanging business cards is customary at networking events. As a consultant, your business also relies on your forming genuine relationships with potential clients. Therefore, it’s even more important you always have your business cards at hand. This not only makes you appear organized and professional, it offers the opportunity to further initial networking. A tangible business card will ensure the connections you’ve made will remember your consultancy services and have access to your contact details. Here are more reasons why carrying business cards can be an essential strategy to help you grow your consultancy company.
Follow up on networking connections
Making valuable networking connections will only benefit your business if you focus on maintaining these relationships. Follow up on connections you’ve made at networking events by engaging in polite email conversations or inviting a fellow professional out for coffee. Many consultants like yourself rely on word of mouth to generate further client leads. Hence, it’s especially important for your business model that you also retain the attention of your existing client base. A quick email enquiring whether your previous and existing clients need any further advice will impress your connections and ensure they keep you in mind for future projects. Overall, following up after networking events is a clever tactic to help you stay one step ahead of your competition.
Networking is obviously extremely important for the success of your consultancy business. However, it’s even more important that you consider protecting yourself and your business from the potential financial consequences associated with your work. You can safeguard your interests by taking out professional indemnity insurance. At ConstructAQuote, we’re small business specialists, experienced in providing this insurance to consultants like yourself.