Nobody Cares How Much You Know Until They Know How Much You Care
Networking is one of the most effective marketing approaches available for anyone in the financial services business.
Networking allows you to leverage your time rather than your money to meet the people you need to know to grow your business.
Here are nine networking ace’s to get you started:
Choose Your Groups Carefully
There are lots of choices for networking. You can meet people for breakfast, lunch or dinner, seven days a week. You need to manage your time to be at the right meetings and events.
The test is always results. Are you spending your valuable time and money with people who you are comfortable referring to – and who will refer others to you after they know, like and trust you?
Get a Networking Partner
Maybe you are just too shy – you just can’t get comfortable introducing yourself to strangers at networking meetings.
Well … get over it and step out of your comfort zone! Better yet, team up with another shy friend and just do it! Help each other get over the fear of rejection and go make some new friends.
You can also find someone at the events who is one of the leaders of the group. They will be happy to get you started on meeting new people and breaking the ice. Just ask!
Learn to Ask Questions
One of the toughest challenges for a new networker is discovering what to say. You want to tell everyone the right things about you so they buy your widget now. Good news! STOP worrying about telling – and start asking.
Focus your interest on the other person. Ask them what they do. Be genuinely interested. Ask more probing questions and be sure to ask open-ended questions using the six honest serving men (who, what, why, where, how and when).
As you ask your open-ended questions, you need to master listening. If you are focused on the other person, genuinely want to learn about them and just have a friendly conversation, listening is easy. If you are still focused on yourself and what you’ll say next, two things will happen – and they are both really bad.
First, you really won’t hear what the other person is saying, causing you to miss some huge opportunities to connect. Second, they will know you aren’t really listening, making it really hard to get to know, like and trust you. Are you listening?
After you meet someone at a networking event, you need to do three things.
- Send them a thank you note
This isn’t a sales pitch card, it’s a “it was a pleasure to meet you card.” Tell them you hope to see them again soon to learn more about them (please don’t add and to tell them more about you).
- Call them within a few days to schedule a meeting
Again, reinforce that you enjoyed visiting with them. Now get out your calendar and schedule a sit down with them – a “dutch treat” coffee clutch.
- Have your sit-down meeting
Focus on getting to know and like each other. The trust will come over time. So will the referrals – both ways. Don’t rush it – are you in business for today or the long haul? Be patient!
Give, Give, Give to Get, Get, Get
Why are you networking? Most likely, it’s to earn referrals so you can grow your business.
It’s almost entertaining when someone walks up to you at a networking event and hands you their business card, saying “hey, here’s my card, call me to buy my widget, I’ll give you a great deal.”
You know they won’t last long in your networking community.
If that’s your style, don’t waste your time networking.
But if your style is to give, give, give … knowing that it will come back to you many times, you will be a winner at networking.
Make sure your mind set is right when you step into the space of networking in your community.
Networking is about leveraging your time rather than spending your money.
Networking is an area of marketing where quality always trumps quantity. It’s really easy to accumulate business cards at networking events.
I’ve seen people with hundreds of cards in their possession, but they can’t remember a thing about anyone in the stack. Ouch!
The more successful route is to build a smaller, tighter network of people who know, like and trust you – because you make strong contributions to the group.
Get to really know your networking partners and you will win the game of business – and the game of life.
Powerfully Communicate Your Uniqueness
There will come a time when you do have to tell who you are – to stand up and give that fifteen second, thirty second or one minute elevator speech.
How will you stand out from the crowd? It starts with getting clear on why you are special, not falling into the trap of
“Hi, I’m Barney. I’m a Realtor. A good lead for me is anyone who breathes.”
Who’s going to refer anyone to you if you are unwilling to invest the time and energy in yourself to discover the real value you offer?
So … do your homework.
Think deeply about why you are special. Then, find a way to communicate who you are powerfully.
We’ve done poetry, dancing and singing to introduce ourselves at networking events.
What are you willing to do to make your introduction memorable?
Learn! Learn! Learn!
Networking isn’t a skill that you master quickly. It takes years of practice to keep getting better and better.
You can accelerate your learning – and dramatically improve your results – by reading, listening to audio tapes and attending seminars. If you don’t have Endless Referrals by Bob Burg in your library, you are missing THE PLAYBOOK on networking – go get it today!
You can also learn by watching the networking leaders in your community. Who are the networking leaders in your community?
Do you think it’s worth your time to get that person to know, like and trust you – and perhaps open their 1,000+ person rolodex your direction?
Give it a try – you’ll be amazed at the results! Our sales outsourcing clients don’t just sit around, they are out there working it with us!