Starting up a business is one thing. To continue building relationships and profits, you will need to reach out to more and more potential clients. This is where networking comes in, and it needs to be done right. First impressions are key, and you always want to be ready to impress a potential client. Here’s a couple of tips to help you network and communicate with clients more effectively.
In-person networking generally requires you to have a polished appearance. And that’s no less important when it comes to online networking! While your potential clients probably can’t see your face, they’ll be able to see all of your accounts. Therefore, it’s vital for these to have a professional look as well. To maintain a professional online appearance, be sure to you’re using proper grammar and avoiding controversial posts. While plenty of people like to stir the pot in online discussions, we know. Still, it’s important to confine this to personal accounts if you want to see your business succeed.
Have a Business Card
It’s a good idea to have a physical business card with all your business contact information. Many companies network online, but you never know when you might run into a prospect in the real world. And when reaching out to clients online, your virtual business card is your email signature. A well-composed professional signature makes it easier for clients to find ways of contacting you. (Not to mention that it adds an extra-professional look to all your online exchanges!)
Have a Portfolio Ready
Now, this tip may not apply to every single type of business. But still, a portfolio is an important asset to have in many cases. For example, if you run a marketing agency and a potential client asks to see your work, having a portfolio on hand shows off the work you can do. Having a ready-made portfolio also makes your business look more professional. Instead of waiting for you to find good examples, the potential client accesses quality samples of your work almost instantly.
Ask Clients to Communicate Their Feedback
Positive feedback is always good for business. Even negative feedback offers you an opportunity to resolve any issues your customers might have. Asking for feedback doesn’t just mean reaching out to clients, however. Connecting with your employees and any outside teams you hire is an important element too. That said, if you’re serious about obtaining actual feedback, it’s important to take steps to make leaving feedback easier. You’re more likely to receive a review if you link customers directly to a review platform. Consider including this link at the end of a chain of email communication. If customers are already interacting with you, they’re likely to leave a review. But if you send a review link farther down the line, that likelihood drops.
Join an Online Community or Two
The internet can be a lonely place if you aren’t sure how to start off your networking. One way is to build off the networking you’ve already done by joining a relevant online community. This strategy lets you connect with both other businesses and potential clients. But you don’t want to simply join and remain inactive. By contributing to discussions, you’ll show that your company is a knowledgeable and dependable part of your chosen industry. Make sure you participate regularly. This will yield better networking results than sporadically commenting.
Communicate Promptly – Clients Appreciate It
We’ve all been there! You get a promising contact from a potential client. But then the rest of the workday gets away from you, and you don’t respond until the next day. This can happen to the best of us, but replying as promptly as possible is wise. Part of client communication is being invested in your clients’ success. By getting back in touch quickly, you show that your company is eager to be of service. While promptness is of value, so is being thorough. If a potential client sends a longer proposal, a brief reply only indicates that you have better things to do. You don’t have to write a novel, just engage with the client, ask questions, offer your commitment. It really does make your company stand out.
Networking isn’t always an exact science. But by planning ways to communicate with existing and potential clients, you’ll be far more likely to keep the ones you have and win over new ones. Develop a networking strategy and deploy it. A little trial and error, plus a lot of commitment to building relationships, will take your business to another level.
Appearances matter. Let Dotcom Design help!