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Bates: Networking key to forging relationships

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

This is an era in which organizations must partner with others in building relationships.   These relationships develop into referring partners and clients. Unless your business can be grown in a closet and your product is in high demand, you have to get your name and business branded.

The best way of doing so is through networking. The Rainmaker Institute advises using The Law of 7 Touches based on research that it takes an average of seven to 10 meaningful touches every year to move someone through the cycle from not knowing anything about you to being ready to buy from you. 

Rainmaker Institute advises us to consider the following statistics regarding the legal profession’s contact with prospective clients:

• 48 percent of lawyers give up after the first contact.

• 25 percent give up after the second contact.

• 12 percent give up after the third contact.

• 5 percent give up after the fourth contact.

Are we any different? In other words, nine out of 10 prospective clients are never followed up with more than four times.

That is no way to grow a business!

I find structured networking events work the best to build relationships. Fortunately this Chamber has such events coming up this fall that are designed to effectively network even the shyest individual. 

Tonight is Referral Group III’s Barbecue Bingo. Starting at 5 p.m., networkers with their bingo card in hand are promised to meet many others in a casual outdoor setting. The barbecue and prizes are the icing on the cake. Following on Sept. 17 is the Perricone Mixer.

Next the Chamber invites women to attend the WINGs  ninth annual “Table Talk” luncheon on Sept. 25 at McHenry Country Club. Registration and networking are at 11:30 a.m. Lunch and Table Talk begin at 11:45 a.m.

Table Talk is different from a typical luncheon as each table represents different organizations.

Attendees move from table to table for each course. A facilitator is at each table and will ask questions, drawing information from table talkers. Bring business cards and brochures to hand out at each table.

The McHenry Area Chamber is hosting its Fall Networking Scramble starting at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 1 at McHenry Country Club. Sponsored by Porte Brown, CPA, the Scramble luncheon moves attendees from table to table for each course, presenting their business to 30 organizations. A facilitator is at each table asking questions. All attendees receive a list of participants.  

Hate the idea of networking? We’ll change that. Attend our Networking 4 Newbie’s Workshop on Sept. 29. This free event is presented by networking coach Victoria Cook, who will discuss how to use networking to build business through gaining strategic partners and an expanded contact base.  

Innovative programs provided by Chamber members include Tweens, Teens and Twenties, Mom’s support group for those parenting gals. It starts Sept. 28 and is led by licensed clinical professional counselor Geri Condon. For information, visit captureyourpath.com.  

After 5 p.m. Oct. 29, Sushi King is offering an all-you-can-eat menu including beverage at $15.95. This is open to the public and members. Don’t like sushi? There’s teriyaki, too! 

Call the McHenry Area Chamber at 815-385-4300 or visit www.mchenrychamber.com to make reservations.

• Kay Bates is executive director of the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce. 

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