Although forensic science has been shown to be effective in winning court cases, and it may help you to grow your business by scientifically gathering and examining information about potential clients, what’s likely to work just fine is good old-fashioned networking. In-person business networking, when done in a professional manner, is a tried and true method for finding new clients through referrals.

The reason is simple: people naturally want to work with people they trust. Once they know you, they begin to trust you. Start by putting yourself in a room with a diverse group of local businessmen and women who are potential sources for referral or may become clients. You can find professional networking groups on LinkedIn that are in your area. Then, all you have to do is “get up, dress up and show up” with a smile and your skillfully-honed elevator speech. Some professional networking groups don’t even charge dues. The opportunity is yours for the taking and perhaps the cost of breakfast.

About that all-important sixty-second elevator speech: Speak clearly and with a friendly tone. Be sure to answer the three big questions:
1. who are you
2. what do you do, and
3. what or who are you looking for
Be straight and to the point. Don’t use big words, industry jargon, or hard sell; and do remember to say how to contact you. If possible, develop and close with a succinct and memorable tag line that sums up how you provide a needed product or service and implies you’re good at what you do or that your product is valuable.

Of course, if your primary goal is rapid or phenomenal growth, you’ll probably want to try newer ways to connect with prospects and convert them to clients or customers. The argument for in-person networking does not exclude other efforts. However, the point is that you may be wasting time and money trying to capitalize on social media, digital marketing or even forensic science just because you think you should.

You need a strategy that is effective. The trick is to integrate what makes sense in your case and not just to jump in because it’s new. Understand the value of transparency and content. Why are they important to your brand? Is yours a B2C or a B2B company? Evaluate social media choices based on the answer. Should prospects be posting selfies on your Facebook page or learning about your company from a corporate video you posted?

Word-of-mouth advertising still works. It’s free and now goes by the name “engagement.” Publicity is still an effective tool when media exposure is sought professionally as appropriate. Direct mail, which can be highly targeted and combined with e-mail marketing, can be cost-effective in many cases. Social responsibility and charitable giving never go out of style.

Whatever your business, find the right consultants to help you navigate the maze. You don’t have to do everything, just the right things.

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