Whether you’re a sole practitioner or part of a larger will writing or estate planning company, you might not be aware of the real benefits that networking can have on your business.
If you’ve attended topical events or conferences, you probably understand the basics of networking. However, it’s important to recognise that simply being present at an event does not mean that your time is being maximised. By investing a little longer into how you approach the event, you can form truly valuable connections – ultimately making the most of the networking time and the opportunity for your business to grow.
It may seem daunting, but connecting with other like minded professionals may not only enhance your business, but can also improve your own awareness and understanding of the sector too.
Why is networking so important?
The main benefits are the connections that you’ll be able to make. As a will writer or estate planning professional, keeping up-to-date with recent legislation and changes within the sector is essential and speaking to others within the profession can certainly expand your knowledge. This doesn’t have to be those who provide will writing or probate services themselves – those who provide services to the industry are also bound to be full of information you may not even be aware of.
As well as benefiting you, enhancing your understanding can be passed on in the range of expertise you can offer to the consumer. That’s not to forget the skills you’re bound to gain from attending a successful networking event. Interacting with similar professionals in your sector not only promotes your business, but also enables you to improve emotional intelligence and communicative skills – both essential when dealing with clients.
So how do you make the most out of a networking event?
- Do your research. Before you go, it can be beneficial to look at who else is attending and whether there’s anybody you’d be interested in speaking to. Think about what you could learn from them and how their business could benefit yours.
- Be prepared but don’t be scripted. Although it’s good to consider what you want to talk about, sounding like you’re reading from a script can be robotic and deter people from engaging with what you have to say. The strongest connections usually start with natural conversation, so don’t be afraid if the conversation veers away from business for a few minutes.
- Don’t just hear, listen. Although you might think that talking is the most important part of networking, being able to listen to other professionals probably takes first place. As well as demonstrating that you’re interested in what they have to say, it also gives them more of chance to say something that might benefit you.
- Don’t show up empty handed. Take business cards, a pen and notepad. As well as helping you to look more professional, it also makes exchanging contact details so much easier. When you make a note about a potential contact, ensure you include a few words about them alongside their contact details. This will help you to remember who they are and whether they’re worth getting in touch with.
- Follow up. After the event, review the business cards and any other contact details you’ve collected. It’s good to contact people in the few days after the event so you’re still fresh in their minds. This will also show people you’re on the ball and in turn they’ll be more likely to want to work with you. Although it’s good to keep in contact, make sure not to bombard people with calls or emails; you risk losing a potentially valuable contact.
For wills and probate professionals, networking is one of the most effective ways of building your business. By attending networking events with the right know-how, you can form valuable connections whilst simultaneously enhancing your knowledge and professional skills.
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