Every week you attend a networking meeting. Every week you go you talk about what you do. Every week you say hi to “Joe” and chat about the weekend.

Then one day you decide to meet Joe for coffee. After a ten minute conversation, he says “sign me up”.

Wow. That was easy, right?

Yet in many cases, that scenario plays out all over the world time and time again.

Why?

Because we simply fail to reach out and connect with the most obvious person that can use our services: the people we know best.

This happens for two reasons.

1. We get busy and don’t take the time to connect on a personal level with those around us.

2. We don’t go into enough detail when explaining what we do.

Connect

To solve the first problem is easy. Think about all the people around you. People you network with on a regular basis. People you run into when you’re dropping your kids off at school. People you worked with at the last event you attended.

This week – right now – pick out one person and call them up and invite them out for coffee. Don’t try and sell them. Simply meet them for coffee and talk about anything and everything. Get to know them on a more personal level.

Then when you’ve had coffee with that person, think of another. Call that person up and invite them out for coffee in the next week. Get to know them on a more personal level.

And so on.

If you do this regularly – shoot for one per week – you’ll quickly find a bunch of people that need your service, or know someone who needs your service.

Get Into The Detail

Now that you are starting to know more people in your community, its time to be more succinct about what you say.

Think about the last networking event you attended. If you gave your 30 second elevator pitch, what did you say? Chances are it was something like this.

“Hi I’m Jane with ABC Photography. I specialize in weddings, family portraits and senior photography. A good client for me would be anyone who hasn’t had a portrait in a while and would love to have a new one hanging on the wall.”

The problem with that kind of pitch is its nothing but “blah, blah, blah”. Sure they listen. They know your name because they see you every week. Yes, they understand you are a photographer. But that’s about it. No excitement. No reason to remember you.

Now compare it to this.

“Hi I’m Jane with ABC Photography. Last week I photographed a young lady who is entering her senior year in high school. She hadn’t had a true portrait since she was three years old. We headed into the downtown area and found the coolest buildings as our backdrop. She wore these funky boots and had the coolest jackets that blended right in with the area. Her expressions were priceless. A few days later, she brought her mom and dad back in to look at the images. I projected them in large format set to music and presented them with a five minute show. The mom cried, remembering how fast her little girl grew up. If you know of any high school seniors, I’d love to do the same for them.”

Wow, right?

It’s a completely different mood. A completely different feel. If I know of a high school senior, I’m not just going to think about her and let the image fade when the next person talks. I’m going to make a note to myself to call the mom and recommend Jane.

The second one succeeds because you build a story in the listeners mind. Which is why it works so well.

Especially if you use that when you’re meeting someone for coffee and getting to know them a little better.

If you’ve been using this strategy again and again, when you sit down with “Joe”, he’ll already have an idea in mind. “Remember when you talked about that senior portrait experience? My daughter will be a senior in the fall and I’d love to use you.”

Yep, it really is that simple.

But it doesn’t happen over night. You have to do your part. Get started today.

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