Social prospecting costs money. It takes time. Results usually don’t come immediately. You might be asking “Why bother?” Here’s why.
What’s In It For You?
There are eight reasons why you want to make the effort, even if business isn’t immediately coming your way. Direct Business. People know Who you are and What you do. They gradually learn Why you are good. They like you. Some become clients because people often do business with people they like. Opportunity to tell your story. Not everyone you meet becomes a friend or social acquaintance. Some people are very private. Why they joined a social group like this is a mystery. However, they’ve met you and picked up on how you help people. The call may come one day: “You probably don’t remember me, but we met at a chamber event a year ago. I’ve got this problem…” There are people you want to meet because they are influencers or can provide access to others. You have already made friends in the organization. You’ve cultivated staff too. You ask for an introduction. They are happy to comply. Your new friends may think their advisor walks on water. Not much opportunity there. However, they may know people who are not happy with their advisor. You let your friends know the type of people you try to help. They refer their unhappy friend. Why didn’t they give the referral to their advisor? She never asked. There are lots of financial advisors, insurance agents, financial planners and private bankers in town. You stand out because you are raising your visibility in the right social circles. Identification with a noble cause. Your group has instant name recognition. It’s high profile, with a positive image in the community. When people hear about your connection, that positive reputation enhances your own. New social circles. You make new friends. You entertain at home. They repay the favor, having you over as their guest. It might start with just the two of you. This grows to dinner parties. Next, it’s holiday parties. You start to know their friends. They know you. Seminar location. If it’s a cultural organization in town, it’s likely got a great building, central location and plenty of parking. You discover they rent out space for events.
What’s in it for the Organization?
The staff sees you working the room, showing up regularly and making friends. You are polite about it, but you might wonder, are they Ok with it. If you are tactful, chances are the answer is yes. Here’s why. You are an active member. You attend events. You talk up the organization with your friends. You have an interest in the mission. You write checks. They are getting direct financial support. They will work hard to get more. Firm support. They know where you work. They would like the firm to donate too. You know the firm has a foundation on the national level. You can point the group in the right direction. Volunteer involvement. You give back. You invest your time, maybe helping with membership, fundraising or event planning. All three bring revenue into the organization. Professional skills. You know about investing or insurance. The organization itself might have needs or buy services. Public speaking skills. If they realize you are good speaking in front of groups, they make the connection that you could tell their story too. Speaking engagements at community groups are a possibility.
Each side gets something out of your involvement. That’s why it’s worth everyone’s time.