David Crumbaugh, CPA gave a presentation to the Texas Young CPAs Conference about Business Skills in the Workplace. His discussion focuses on networking skills for CPAs
You grow your business through Marketing, Sales, and Networking. Only 2 universities in the U.S. offer business networking courses.
There are four primary types of networking.
1. Social: It is important to not get overloaded to the point that you can't follow up
2. Relational-ship: This involves regular, ongoing meetings among professionals to build relationships. Accountability is important
3. High-Tech: Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, etc. It is important to understand whether you are using this for personal or business purposes. Keep the business for business, and keep the personal personal.
4. Nspired Networking: a combination of the other three types of networking. Develop a plan of action for each type of networking.
Your firm has a marketing plan and sales goals. You should have a networking plan.
Know how to tell people who you are and what you do. A 5-step training moment.
1. Intro: Name, Company Name, Location
2. Specific product or service you provide
3. Describe product or service and what sets you apart in the market
4. How can I help you? Ask for a referral. Ask for your target market. Ask for your strategic alliance market.
5. Close: Name, Company Name, your memory hook (tag line).
The elevator speech consists of your name, your company name, and your memory hook.
Always be listening for ways that you can help others with their needs, be they accounting or other.
What to do:
Train you partner
What to avoid:
Selling. The purpose of a networking introduction is not to sell yourself. It is so they can get to know us to the point that they trust us. Once they trust you, they will refer business to you.
How to network a mixer:
It is not about collecting the most business cards.
1. Have your networking tools with you at all times. Name Badge (from your company). Have business cards, pens, business cards of your close network.
2. Set a goal for the number and type of people you want to meet. Once you meet your goal, go home
3. Act like a host, not like a guest. Greet people. Introduce people to others they want to meet that you know.
4. Listen and ask questions. Talk about yourself for a couple of seconds, then turn it over to them. Ask follow up questions. Always leave them with "how can I help you?"
5. Give a quality referral whenever possible. A lead is a name and a phone number. A referral is telling them about someone and calling that person to let them know you sent them your way.
6. Describe your product or service in 60 seconds or less.
7. Exchange business cards with the people. Give them 2 - one they can write notes on and another they can give to others. Take notes on business cards. Understand culture -- In Japan, don't write on the business card.
8. Spend 10 minutes or less with each person you meet. You are not there to build a relationship in one meeting. Relationships take time -- this is the first introduction.
9. Write comments on the back of the business cards you collect.
10. Follow up with the people you meet. You will lose clients quickly by not following up on emails, phone calls, etc. Email or handwritten card. A handwritten card will set you apart.
The magic words of networking:
"How can I help you?"
What type of networker are you?
Spinning out of control? Moving through too many networking events.
Has the blues? Cold Calling, and can't get past the gatekeeper.
Clueless? Not sure what you are doing or why.
How to become an Nspired Networker
Have a networking goal
Have a networking plan of action
Have a desire to help and be immersed in a culture of ongoing education.
Have fun and remember your networking fundamentals.
Networking happens every day, everywhere, even at funerals
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3 years ago