Monday, March 28, 2011

How to Find Clients by Reverse Stalking (a.k.a. Networking for Smarties)

Hands up -- who loves networking to find new clients?

I thought so.

Networking (as most people do it) forces you to talk to strangers and ask for help, two things most of us hate to do. But why do what most people do? That would just make you average.

Instead, keep your eyes peeled for new ways of doing old things, like networking.

Example: an article in The Wall Street Journal has advice on dating you can use when networking.

After Lisa Jenkins, 42, a Clarkston, Wash., marketing consultant, got divorced several years ago, she came up with a method she calls "reverse stalking." Once or twice a week, she frequented places she found interesting—bookstores, art galleries, a bistro, a charity—at about the same time of day. "People who might be interested in you know where to find you when they finally get up the courage to ask you out," she says.

While volunteering on a fund-raiser for a local college art center, she met another volunteer, who asked her to lunch. Three years later, they are engaged. "I am very glad I didn't leave it to chance," Ms. Jenkins says.

Get that?

By appearing regularly where she might find single men with the same interests as her, she met her ideal match.

Questions: Where do your ideal prospects hang out? And how can you start appearing there regularly?

Example: If your ideal client is educated and earning over $100,000 per year, where would they hang out? Try your college alumni club -- wealthy, successful people often take leadership positions in such organizations. Volunteer for a project, appear regularly to help out, and you may find some new business.

At the very least, "reverse stalking" as a volunteer will raise your profile while helping others. Win-win.

(More ideas like these in my Free Report, Guaranteed Marketing for Service Business Owners.)


  1. Hi, Kevin!

    I think one of the hardest things for SMB's, especially newer businesses, is the overwhelming need to pay the bills. For many, this translates to doing business with anyone who will hire them. Pays the bills? Yep. Provides fulfillment? Most likely not. In which case, we might as well be working for someone else.

    In business, as in life, we have the opportunity to define the circle in which we move.

    It's nice to see you were picking up what I was putting down :)

  2. Hey, Lisa -- I'm glad you found this discussion about you.

    Your story in the WSJ gives us another way to look at the "dating game" of marketing :-)

    I wish you all the best!