Here’s a secret – you can be helpful AND still improve your bottomline at the same time. It’s a matter of giving back, and building goodwill – with the right people.
Here are seven tips that can turbo-charge your networking results…
1) Network in the right place
The key to productive networking is to be in the right place at the right time. When you spend time and money on going to networking meetings, make sure these meetings are filled with people that are good connections for you.
How would you know? Ask yourself a few questions…
* Who comes to the meetings
* Are there enough people you connect with?
* Do they share or service your target market?
* Can you comfortably pass referrals to other members?
* Do you have anything in common with the members?
* Do you enjoy the meetings and the people there?
For example, if you’re a financial advisor, you want to network in places where people have the kind of money that would allow them to invest in your services – or know many people who do. If you’re offering subcontracting services such as installing drywall, you’ll want to go to events that have a lot of builders and contractors who could hire or refer you.
2) Think quality over quantity
Whether it comes to selecting networking events or potential connections, always think quality over quantity. It’s not about how many networking events you attend each week, but about whether the ones you do attend have members who either are or know people who would be good connections for you.
The same is true about building relationships with people. You only have so much time, so be sure to connect with people who are or know people you can do business with.
3) Build relationships with super connectors
Taking this one step further, you’ll really be able to accelerate your networking results if you connect with super connectors. But don’t just toss your business card at them and ask them to send you referrals. Instead, treat them with respect and appreciation – show interest in what they are doing and develop real relationships with them.
4) Become a resource
Why not become a super connector yourself? You can do that by becoming a resource, which you do by getting to know a lot of people and then connecting them with each other. That way, you’ll find that your potential prospects will seek you out, and you’ll have more opportunities to be of service, which will pay off in an ever-growing range of connections.
And you don’t have to wait until someone asks for an introduction. Be proactive. Start by making a list of the people you know. Consider both your inner and outer networking circles. Then think of whom you need to connect and introduce to each other. Consider who their target prospects are and look for aligning opportunities. For example introduce a realtor to a mortgage broker, or your accountant to a biz coach.
Just by spending 30 minutes each week, you’ll be surprised at the number of introductions and referrals you can generate for your network.
5) Give testimonials and get more referrals
Another highly effective way to turbo-charge your connections and referrals is to give endorsements and testimonials to others. You’ll be amazed how quickly others will begin to endorse you right back. After all, what goes around comes around!
Go to your LinkedIn account today and find one of your contacts you can endorse – a few minutes are all it takes!
6) Follow up more than once
A lot of networkers find it hard enough to make even one follow-up connection. While making that call or sending an email is crucial, it’s even more important to follow up repeatedly. Make a second and third call, follow up after one-on-one meetings, and focus on building real relationships with your key prospects and prospective referral partners.
Too much work? Remember, this is about quality over quantity. Select a few key people and focus on developing deeper relationships with them, instead of making dozens of first phone calls each week.
Not sure what to say? Ask them what projects they’re working on, who would be a great referral for them, or any resources or people they may want to connect with. Don’t forget about the personal connections – family, hobbies, vacations etc. This isn’t a sales call – it’s a relationship builder.
7) Have an attention-getting introduction or “Audio Logo”
One of the most powerful tools for connecting with just the right people is an attention-grabbing networking introduction or “Audio Logo”. Make sure you have one you can use for either a typical networking event 60-second introduction or a conversational one for social situations.
A powerful audio logo will position you apart from your competition, keeps you top of mind and makes you easy to refer – you’ll attract clients and referrals!
The more of the above tips you put into practice, the more productive your networking becomes, and the faster you’ll get results. So get started today!