We asked several of our Intuit® Tax Pro Center authors for advice, and here’s what they had to say:
Gregg Bossen – Gregg S. Bossen, CPA PC
When you first meet someone at a networking event, DO NOT give them your card and begin telling what you do! It feels salesy, fake and turns people off. Instead, ask them about personal stuff – for example, “Have you been to this place before? Where are you from? What’d you think of the fish?” Friends first, then business!”
Nayo Carter-Gray, EA – 1st Step Accounting
Start a conversation with a genuine compliment. People are pretty receptive to hearing nice things about themselves, which helps jumpstart a conversation in a networking setting.
Liz Farr, CPA – Farr Communications
Follow up with the people you meet at a networking event or conference. Few do that, so you will stand out when you do.
Cassidy Jakovickas, CPA – MBS Accountancy Corporation
Too many people focus on themselves while networking. To build a following, you must focus on those around you. Like the saying goes, people don’t care what you know until they know that you care.
Andrea M. Parness, CPA, CTC – A. Parness Company CPA
Attend an event with the goal to make no more than three strong new connections: professionals with a particular specialty who can be a resource and refer business to you, accountants who want to expand or consolidate their practice, and others who have a solution to one or two of your firm concerns or “pain points.”
Chris Picciurro, CPA/PFS, MBA, ARA – Integrated Financial Group
Pick an industry to specialize in that is a personal interest. Work will seem like a hobby and you will automatically have something important in common with clients.
Kessla Sloan – SKYsmb
Network effectively by supporting your clients. Attend their openings, events and awards ceremonies when invited. You’ll meet like-minded people who will make similarly great clients!
What’s your best networking tip? Leave a comment below to let us know.