Finding Casual Consulting Clients at Business Networking Events

Should you invite someone to invest in your consulting services if you’ve just met them while networking?

Well, some very smart schools of thought would say that… “You should never pitch your consulting services to people you meet at business networking events.  You should find ways to add value and provide them with referrals.  If you do that right, they will do the same for you”

All of that is true.. After all, it is a great idea to connect with people that could one day potentially need your services and provide them with referrals so they feel compelled to do the same for you.

If it’s between this scenario I just described above and the method of being too aggressive and uncoordinated when trying to get new clients from business networking.  Then by all means, stick with that first option.

But what if…just what if,  there was another way of attracting new consulting clients from business networking.

What if there was a way to communicate with your business friends that allowed you to conversationally get your most ideal prospects to ask you if they could invest in your consulting services. While at the same time, automatically strengthening your relationships with those that were not ready and positioning your consulting services as the ultimate solution when they were ready to buy or refer.

How to Make Business Friends With Benefits

There is a simple process of conversation that you can have with your potential clients at events that optimize your relationship with the people you meet to become consulting clients.

This technique for closing consulting clients from events can be summarized in three easy-to-follow steps:

1. Establish Expertise on Introduction:  You’re best off having someone else make your introduction for you at the event for Instant Expert Positioning.

Why this is Important:  If you walk around telling the room how great you are, well, most of the time people will think the opposite of what you say.  But if someone else makes your introduction saying the exact same things, it will transform your claims into becoming real credentials simply because they originated from a source other than yourself.

So share this article with a friend who can come along with you.

If you really wanted to get as many clients as you can handle, both of you should make it your goal to make friends with everyone but be looking for the perfect potential clients you can introduce to each other.

Remember, the more you both benefit, the better you both are…so make sure to support each others goals and think like a team.

Bonus note: I have provided other colleges with referral fees for introductions to keep them motivated.

If you don’t have someone that is going to come along with you to business networking events, don’t let that stop you.  We are going to re-conform your expertise through these steps. This last step should be applied whenever possible for fastest results.

2. Establish Rapport – This is the most obvious step, but the most left out step when connecting with your potential clients.

When I use the word rapport, I am talking about getting your potential client to trust you.  As you might notice, trust is a huge influential component in today’s new massively skeptical market place.

Instead of teaching you a bunch of tricks to help influence others to trust you, all I am going to tell you today is be interested in the person that is in front of you.

Why This is Important: Because the more genuinely interested you are in someone, the more interesting you will be to them.  And the more interesting you are to them, the more they will create their own unconscious reasons to trust and like you.

Side note: Don’t fake this step.  People can feel when you care and when you don’t.  If you don’t genuinely care about people you’ll never get past this step.

So how do you convey your interest in someone?  You ask questions about who they are, in life and business….then, pay attention because they are going to give you the door to their needs.

3. Mining for opportunities to Provide Your Consulting Services

You want to always playfully mine for potential opportunities by asking your business friends more questions that are focused on looking for the things they want to move away from.

We want to remember that everyone makes decisions for two main reasons:  To gain pleasure and to avoid pain.  Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, it’s a lot easier to get most people to move away from what they don’t want than it is to move towards what they do want.

So, Just keep your eyes open for opportunities in dissatisfaction.  You will find them if you are a good friend and listen for them.

4. Getting Your Business Friends to Ask You if they Can buy Your Consulting Services

If this business friend is your target market and if you listen and ask questions and if they are a good business friend, you are going to find areas of dissatisfaction in the results they are getting with their business that relate to the consulting services you can provide.

This could be in one sitting or a couple weeks or months. You are going to have to go with the flow here in order for this step to be organic to your potential client or referral partner. It’s going to depend on how your experience, as well as, how the moment unfolds.

But when you hear the area of their dissatisfactions, simply ask your new business friend about it.

Ask them questions that get more detail and at the same time highlight their pain a little by repeating what they said to you…

  • Like “What do you mean?” or “How does that affect your life?”
  • At that point, you will have a good understanding of what they are wanting to move away from.
  • Are you concerned with (describe the area of dissatisfaction relative to your consulting services)
  • How has (describe the area of dissatisfaction relative to your consulting services) affected (describe area of focus)
  • Do you think these problems could lead to any larger challenges?

(what this question does is take them into the future if they don’t fix it raising the pain so that they take actions on fixing it sooner than later because they have already experienced the pain of waiting.)

Your next step is to ask them, “In a perfect situation in regard to [the situation they just described or your area of expertise ) what would your life or situation be like?

At this point, they will start to tell you all the benefits that are important to them and what they want to move towards.

At that point, you have something really powerful.  You have their two primary motivating factors for buying your consulting services.  That’s what they want to move away from and what they want to move towards.

If they haven’t already asked you first, ask them if you can help them solve their problem with your consulting services (after you practice this a little and get great at it you, might notice that about 30% or more ask you if you can help them before you can even get to the point of asking them)

Model of Conversation after they are in the Optimum State of Mind To Invest In your Consulting Services

“(name) the really great thing is that I have helped people just like you that experienced being in (describe what they want to move away from) and wanting to create (describe what they told you they wanted to create)

Do you think we are a good match to work together to give you benefit…x y z?

Now at that point you have their mind in its optimum potential for making a decision on a solution they can trust.

They know that you are the solution because of your introduction as the expert.

They trust you because you took the time to listen and establish rapport.

They are feeling the feeling of wanting to move away from the situation they are in right now.

And they know you can provide the outcome they described they wanted

So If they are going to be a good client for you, they are going to say yes, yes, yes.

This might take a little time to learn but if you practice it a little, you will understand why it’s been kept a secret by some of the best for so long.

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Nathaneal Mohr is the Mayor of NaterVille and has been in the Business Coaching industry for over ten years. Nate’s calender is booked with a small group of private clientele but his other labor of love is successfully helping hundreds of business-owners every month with his Business Marketing Blog . If you would like to have Nate write for your blog as well, just ask…he wont bite.

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  • Joel A. Montilla

    interesting read – reminds me of Dale Carnegie principles