We’ve talked about the power of word-of-mouth marketing before, and truly believe in it. This is because the person who really needs your service, uses it, loves the work done (only if you’re good at your job, of course), and then refers it to anyone who listens.
Not to disregard direct mail ads, publicity, and advertising (they have their place), and cold calling (not sure if this one works much), but they are definitely the least effective according to the book Managing the Professional Service Firm by David Maister. He lists seminars, speeches, and articles in trade press as first tier, and networking in the second tier.
Here you may ask what word-of-mouth marketing have to do with networking. We would put networking as a promotional tool in the first tier of best marketing tools, because you can create word-of-mouth business when you build relationships with other businesses, and you guessed it, the best way to connect with other businesses is through networking.
The idea behind networking is not to help only yourself, which is the main purpose of most marketing tools. You are always showcasing what you do and your uniqueness, so you raise your profile and gain business. This is great, but it requires tireless efforts. Now, imagine you’re able to build a good relationship with another business, and you are able to give them a referral of business (a new client for them), how much more appreciative would they be? They would be much more open to getting to know your business, and referring you.
We are always on the lookout for good marketing opportunities and belong to a great network already called Business Network International (BNI). If you’d like to come and join us for a meeting, please feel free to contact us.