As we all know, visitation is a monthly commitment, yet some of us do not make the most out of the time spent with other members. Visitation is designed for you to find out more about another members business, and how you can send more qualified referrals their way.
Maybe you don’t know what to ask, or don’t really know what it is that the other member is looking for in a client. Visitation is a great time to figure out those questions and build good interpersonal relationships with other members. After all you want to refer business to people that you like and trust right?
So how do you cultivate such relationships? It’s vital that you find out as much as possible about people so you can send the right kind of business their way; while also doing so in a quick and efficient way that maximizes your exposure within a limited time frame.
Here are the 10 important questions you should ask potential networking partners, as well as some tips for helping you take full advantage of the information you gain:
1. How did you get started in your industry?
This is a great icebreaker, it’s simple and to the point. Understanding what motivated someone to enter their particular field provides you with important backstory and insight into who they are and what they’re all about.
2. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
People are drawn to others who are passionate about their work. Those who are excited about what they do are more likely to produce a better quality of work which will make you more likely to want to do business with them or refer them in the future.
3. What separates you and your company from the competition?
You are looking for “bullet points” that can be told quickly and easily to illustrate why they can be trusted to do a good job. If you don’t have a solid understanding of where you fit into your industry or what your strengths and weakness are can lead others to question your experience.
4. What advice would you give someone starting out in your business?
Asking someone for advice shows respect and is essential for building credibility on the road to profitability. This also helps to illuminate what struggles they have encountered on their journey as well as how they overcame them allowing you to relate more to them.
5. What do you see as coming trends in your business or industry?
If you or someone you know has detailed information or strategies on how to profit from upcoming trends, you might learn something of value. Conversely, if they are too preoccupied with daily business to have any input here, it is an opportunity for you to help them with any trends you see that might affect their business. Build rapport by taking an active interest in their business as well. Remember, all ships rise with the tide.
6. What strategies have you found to be the most effective in promoting your business?
This question leads to brainstorming for each others businesses and stimulates the exchange of marketing and promotion ideas, as well as business building in general.
7. If there were anything about your business or industry you could change, what would that be?
This question, in addition to building rapport, allows you to discuss business freely and provides you with the opportunity to suggest solutions or at least gain a better understanding of the challenges they face and how you may be able to offer solutions.
8. What is the next big event coming up for you?
This question almost always results in referral opportunities if followed up correctly. At the very least it gives you an idea of where they are in the community and if there are any crossover opportunities where you can do business in the future.
9. What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
The answer will provide insight into their business and life to help you understand him or her more as a person, as well as possibly uncovering any money on the table with referral opportunities for your team.
10. What type of customers are you looking for? How will I recognize a good prospect for you? What specific situations are your target audiences experiencing?
OK, this is really three questions. In essence, the more vivid a picture they paint of who and what they are looking for, the greater the probability of you recognizing their targeted prospects, allowing you to examine potential business or referral opportunities.
Posted by Pro Portland