Instructions For Networking In A Bowl

1) Identify 3 businesses

Where does your ideal client shop? What restaurants do they visit? Create a list and then prioritize. If you travel for your business, or do business with brick and mortar businesses that also have Web sites, feel free to identify these businesses too.

2) Contact the owner

Ask for an in-person (preferred) or telephone meeting (okay if you are doing business virtually or from another city). Make an appointment to meet with them and bring credible information about your business to the meeting like newspaper articles, brochures, etc. Remember to market with integrity! Let the business owner know up front what you plan to send to the contest entrants.

3) Swap literature

Ask the business owner for additional literature about their business. Ask if there is any way that you can assist them, etc.

4) What’s in it for them?

The business owner can reap promotional benefits. Contest information can be added to their newspaper ads, Web sites, flyers, posters, menus, press releases etc. The second chance for promotion is after the winner is announced! Let’s not forget that the winner will be spending “whatever prize you paid for” at their establishment, too.

5) Purchase a bowl

Help a local charity by purchasing a jar, bowl dish or fish bowl with a large enough opening for business cards. Some places to check out are Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and Discovery Centers. Make a sign for the front of the bowl.

6) Don’t limit yourself

Not everyone has a business card. Design your own entry form. Sam’s Club has boxes of blank business cards that are ideal to use. Or cut some index cards. The form should include a line requesting the entrant’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address.

7) Price to you?

For the price of a gift certificate to their establishment, you’ll receive a bowl full of business/personal cards from people you’ve established are your ideal clients.

8) What’s in it for you?

The benefits of buddy networking may include the opportunity to:

  • build a relationship with a business owner who attracts your ideal clients.
  • tell your ideal clients about your services.
  • advertise your business by sponsoring the contest.
  • advertise the same contest in your store for added benefits!
  • the list goes on!!!

9) Write to the contestants.

Send a letter of introduction to each person and do some permission marketing. Things you might mention in your correspondence are:

  • the name of the winner, and the city they reside in how your service can benefit them with a short description of your service
  • as much contact information as possible – phone number, address, email, web site
  • any free services you offer
  • ask them to subscribe to your newsletter on or off line
  • include a consolation prize like a pen with your name on it, discount certificate to your services on a postcard, etc.