Attend a conference or convention!
State, regional, national, or international! Whatever makes the most sense given your goals.
I’m away at the National Speakers Association Annual Convention. I go every year because I reconnect with friends that I only see once or twice a year and of course make some new friends along the way. Yes, it’s social!
But there are business reasons too! I go to learn best practices from those that are doing things in their businesses that may help me implement something new, drop something old, or improve something that needs to be better.
Technology. Online marketing stuff. Promoting my online courses. Always looking to improve, man!
It’s great to have a community inside my industry – training and development.
As a financial advisor, broker, planner, rep, agent, producer, or whatever, you might attend associations that are in your industry. There are lots of them! Go to the Google if you’re not familiar. I have been a speaker at many of them!
There are also associations that you might attend to help you generate more prospects, more referrals, and more business. How about that?
Of course, I attend many associations (as a speaker or attendee) that serve the marketplace where I do most of my work – yours!
And you can do the same thing. Here’s how!
Focus on a Target Market
If you follow me, you know I’ve mentioned this a couple of bazillion times! A target market represents whom you serve best and therefore wish to serve most. It should represent a specific industry, profession, market segment, niche, dynamic, or geography. The key word here is specific! As in “small business” is not really a target market. What industry, profession, etc. does your target market represent? Does this matter? Um…yeah! The more focused you are on your target market, the more effective you will be at saying the right things, meeting the right people, and going to the right places. Like those associations meetings I mentioned!
Establish Your Goals
What are you looking to accomplish? Who are you looking to meet and why? How can they help you? How can you help them? How will you know you accomplished your goals? Your focus should be on “heavy learning” with a dose of “how can you learn more?”. Make great connections and be likeable. Offer free information and to be a resource. Remember, don’t sell your products or services at associations unless you have a booth at the exhibit center otherwise your newfound target market will avoid you. A lot!
Ask great questions. In fact, prepare them so you’ll, well, be prepared! Keep your goals in mind. You want to make sure your questions get you closer to learning more and making valuable connections. Lots of asking questions and listening here. If you’re asking for advice and being inquisitive, many of those people you meet (not all of them!) will be happy to provide information and direction. Make sure you offer to do the same for them. Make your conversations a “two-way street” and don’t make it all about you. Also, be prepared to share what you do, why you’re at the meeting, what you’re hoping to accomplish, and those you would ultimately like to meet.
Follow Up and Stay in Touch
This is where most meeting attendees drop their gloves. It’s so important to talk about following up and potentially staying in touch with those you meet and feel a great connection. How will you follow up and stay in touch? An email? Phone meeting? Ongoing phone meetings? Ongoing meetings whenever you’re in town? Inviting them to events? Webinars? Baseball games? Whatever! Keep in mind that social media is somewhat passive and only part of the way you might stay in touch. The more active you will be – the more activity you will generate. That’s just the way it works!
Let me know if you’ll be attending a conference or convention in your industry or target industry. I’d really like to know!
Happy to be in your corner!