Networking from a Virtual Assistant’s perspective
For my followers who do not know me, I am a Virtual Assistant based in Hampshire and I provide office support to busy business owners who wish to grow their business and need PA support without the extra overheads that a permanent employee will incur.
You will often see me at my local networking groups and I wanted to spend some time today giving you an insight and some advise on what I have learnt on my journey.
I learnt a long time ago that it is not productive just going to a networking meeting once a month, doing your 60 second elevated pitch and just sending a follow up email, this is definitely not the best way to build your business and grow your empire.
You NEED to invest in building relationship’s and spend the time to get to know other members and listen to their pitch in your meetings. I always take notes so I can refer to them after the meeting. Such a great tool.
Don’t be afraid to ask people for a 121, remember ask open questions – Here are some example topics that I have found work:
- Past career and experience?
- Why they started their business?
- When did they launch?
- What are their future plans for the business?
- Ask about their business i.e products, specialise in, best sellers?
- What are good referrals for them?
By asking these questions you will not only learn about what makes them who they are, but you will learn what drives them and what type of business they are looking for. A good one to one should take approximately 1 hour, take 30 minutes each talking about you and your business and you should be able to walk away with a great understanding of who you have met.
If you are only having a 20 minute 121 this is NOT the way to build a relationship and potentially secure business from them in the future or get that well needed referral.
I was told recently that I am the most bubbly and engaging Virtual Assistant that they have met. This was an amazing compliment – something I pride myself on is getting to know my
- Business connections
- Building relationships
- Making people feel relaxed
- Genuinely caring about other members or people you meet and
- Looking for that right referral for them. YES I listened to their pitch, I made those notes and I had that 121.
I follow these guidelines and have found that people want me on their team to help grow their business as I spend the time investing in building my relationship with them and NOT just selling my services.
Remember people buy from people and if you don’t invest your time in getting to know other members, you wont build your connections which wont result in any future business.
I would like to set you a target for the next month, why don’t you set aside some time for 1 meeting a week – you only need to set aside 1.5 or 2 hours of your day. Maybe arrange it for the morning after the school run, then you have the rest of the day to work. I have found that a good time for a meeting is before your network meeting, after your network meeting or anytime from 9am onwards.
I would love to hear about your experiences good or bad and if you have found any of my tips and past experience helpful.
Thank you for taking the time to read.