- Networking takes time
- It’s not about me
- Networkers are givers
- Great networkers go to great events
- Attending weekly networking events builds your business
- Follow Up is the key. This is where the money is
- Coffee Meetings weekly build your business
If you practice these 7 things every week, you will set yourself apart from 90% of other people who attend networking events.
Let me explain more fully my 7 secrets:
Networking Secret 1: Networking Takes Time
Being a business owner takes a real commitment of your time, money and energy.
You may often work long hours and you think that you do not have time to network and go to lots of networking events.
Well I have great news for you. You don’t have to. Yes that is right.
It is all about the quality of the events not the quantity of events that you attend.
Networking Secret 2: It is not about ME
When you go to a networking event, go t with a purpose in mind. Know who you want to meet. Select 2-3 people at the event that you wish to meet and go and introduce yourself to them.
Take the iniative. They are probably shy too. Ask them their name and what does their business do. Something like: “Please tell me what is the one thing in your business that you are passionate about”? Let them take their time to tell you.Listen carefully.
Good networkers are great listeners
Networking Secret 3: Networkers are Givers
Do not be like everyone else that goes to networking events. They go to give away as many of their business cards as they can. Totally Uncool.
When you meet a new business person at a networking event, ask them:
‘Who is a good connection for your business?’
My favorite question is – ‘How can I help you?’ Listen and help them make a connection to someone in your business network.
They will be grateful and also impressed by your generosity.
Networking Secret 4: Great networkers go to great events
As I have said previously, this is probably just too simple. But it is so true.
Most business people think that they need to attend lots of different networking events each month. WRONG.
High quality events, such as workshops, seminars, educational presentations, industry specific events attract high quality business people. You just need to choose 1-2 of these type of events to attend each month. Be a Regular Attendee. Make yourself known to the host/hostess.
Be seen to be a generous and giving and genuine person. You will certainly stand out from the crowd at these events if you do.
Networking Secret 5: Attend a Weekly Networking Group
This is one thing all serious networkers do. This is where great business people hang out. They know the value of building strong relationships of trust with other business people in these groups.
This is where solid and genuine referrals and high quality connections happen. Quality business education also occurs in weekly networking groups. I have been a member of a weekly business networking group for 12 consecutive years.
A whopping 80% of all of my new business comes from referrals from my weekly networking groups. It is because I have taken the time to build solid relationships of trust. It takes time. It does not happen overnight. But it does happen. I have proved this across many different weekly networking groups over the time.
Networking Secret 6: Follow Up -This is where the money $$$$ is
You have attended a great networking event. You have met a new prospective new business person that you believe will be a great new client or connection.
The majority of people STOP HERE!
This is where the true networkers set themselves apart. They know that the next step is the most important one to their continued success in business.
The following morning, call them and remind them that you met the previous day at the networking event that you attended together. Oganise a day and a time that suits you both best to set up a Coffee Meeting and a chat. A quiet cafe is best. Don’t leave out this important step.This is the step that will lead you to a new client for your business or a new quality business connection for later. They will think well of you , because you cared enough to contact them. The vast majority of people at that event won’t do this.
You cannot fake sincerity!
Networking Secret 7: Have weekly coffee meetings to build your business
This is the simplest and most cost effective way that I have ever found to build my business.
I really enjoy meeting new people and finding out about their business and what they do and how I can help them.
My group members tell me that I have an old fashioned Rolladex in my brain. When I meet with a new person, I just know the perfect person to connect them to or refer them to.
The more coffee meetings that you have, the more confident that you get at doing them. Practice definitely leads to more referrals from your coffee meetings. You will find that you will ‘fine tune’ this excellent skill along the way naturally.
Coffee Meeting=New Referrals=More Closed Business=Better Cash Flow
By having 1-2 Coffee Meetings with new people each week, you will keep your ‘business pipeline’ topped up with new connections and future new clients. You will be truly amazed how this one small thing each week can really help you to build a Strong Referral Based Business.
Networking is FUN. It is so enjoyable meeting new people and making new friends.
Networking is a skill that is highly prized in corporate business now. It is a skill anyone can learn with practice, help and patience.
Don’t forget great networkers are great listeners. Enjoy your networking journey.