This month we are banging on about word of mouth. So many people are generating it, yet they are not measuring the results.
I'm often told that networking is not a measurable activity, or that it already brings results. The format is simply a matter of time invested versus income generated. The latter is great, but often not measured.
The biggest cost in networking is time. So, here's a quick break down for those who value their networking time; earning £50,000 equates to £200 per 10 hour day (that's £200 x 5 days x 50 weeks). This means that 3 hours per week spent networking costs £3,000 per annum, plus travel, fees, plus incidental expenses. So, someone charging £100 per hour has lost the opportunity to earn £15,000.
The return generated is the most important figure. Before you add it up, think about what multiple would be an acceptable return. Rather than pluck a figure out of the air, you could use the multiple provided by your most profitable form of marketing for finding new clients.
Which is it? Advertising, attending trade shows, PR campaigns, market research, newsletters, social networks, cold calling, promotions, Search Engine Optimisation, or perhaps something else...
Once you have done that, don't stop networking, unless it is the least profitable form of finding new clients. You probably know where your other marketing costs are invested. So think about where you are investing your networking cost - which is time.
Are you in the best place to be introduced to your most profitable clientèle? Or do we go back to a question I am often asked. Where the bloody hell do my target market go, and what do I say to them when I get there?
Take a look at our latest blog about making every minute count while networking.