It’s a competitive world out there, and networking is of critical importance. If you want to continue to grow as an accountant and see more regular successes in your business life, you need to learn how to network effectively. You can’t count on anyone else to sell your skills. You’ll need to be your own walking billboard, and be equipped with the right things to say to lead to fulfillment in your career.
Get a Good Business Card
If you want people to work with you, you need to make it easier for them to start that process. Though it seems to be common sense that you should have a business card, it’s not as simple as that. Having a memorable business card that clearly states your accounting services and offers several contact methods is the only way to go. Potential clients will be able to add you to their contacts lists on multiple platforms, and they’ll have a better idea about the specialized services you offer.
Work On Your Pitch
Your pitch shouldn’t be a speech. After a while, people will start to feel like you’re a walking commercial, and they’ll disregard you on principle. You need to be able to comprehensively sell yourself in under one minute in order to keep up with the attention span of your potential clients. Being thorough and memorable is just as important as being snappy. Write and practice a standard pitch in which you are confident.
Be Confident, Not Arrogant
There’s a fine line between being sure of yourself and being egotistical. If it seems like you’re talking up a big game, people will doubt your authenticity. Phrase your accomplishments in powerful, but neutral language. Taking the attitude that you’re the star of the show will only translate as obnoxious behavior to people who may have otherwise been willing to become your clients.
Build Strong Communication Skills
There isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t value excellent communication when making a business arrangement. Listen to what people are saying to you, and make note of the details. Allow yourself to develop an all-encompassing portrait of what their needs are and where you could potentially fit. Asking relevant questions will show the other party that you’re actively involved in the conversation and have a genuine interest in the information you’re exchanging.
There is no shortage of conferences and seminars for an accountant to attend. These events are held entirely around the premise of networking, so you won’t have a difficult time putting yourself out there. If possible, research other individuals whom you know will be in attendance and prepare some conversation topics. Having an idea of what you intend to do before you get there will heighten the productivity of your travel experience.
Always Follow Up
Sometimes people procrastinate, and other times, they’ll forget about you. Sometimes they feel like they’re just another person you’ve passed a business card to. Following up with the connections you’ve made will show that you’re serious about developing a business relationship. You can’t expect everyone to flock to you, especially if you’re forming your reputation as an accountant. A little outreach goes a long way in building up a client base, and may even make people feel more inclined to take you seriously.
What is the best networking experience that you’ve had? Are there any particular conferences that work the best for you? You’re always welcome to share trade tips with other accountants in the comments area.
Kelly Smith is Content Manager at Career FAQs, Australia’s leading portal on online learning and career resources. She is interested in new tech solutions and self-improvement ideas.