Are you one of so many folks that strives to be an influencer in their local community? Do you devote hours of time to networking groups (and sometimes some hefty fees too), but see little monetary return?
At MCG, we’ve built our entire client base on referrals and networking. Our Connectioneering blend is actually just an application of networking through traditional marketing channels.
Let’s delve into some attitudes and techniques that have helped us get where we are in an effort that they will help you grow your business.
Provide value in every conversation you have
Other networkers know why you’re at the networking event: to make sales and make money. So surprise them by giving away your precious knowledge and time. Sometimes, we all need someone to listen. If you need help getting into the giving mindset, read The Go-Giver by Bob Burg (affiliate link). It’s a great “little story about a powerful business idea”.
A great way to give value is to forget about business. If you make your conversation social, your giving them one of the most valuable things we have to offer: friendship.
Measure the value you’re giving
Make it a habit to think about what you’ve given in value at the end of each day. A great way to take this a step further is to write it in a table.
For more details on measuring your networking efforts, check out Networking Is a Contact Sport by Joe Sweeney (affiliate link). It lays out a great system that is based on accountability. By tracking your giving, you’ll find that you’re actually inclined to give even more value.
Be mindful of others’ time
Don’t you hate it when people waste your time selling to you at a networking event?
So don’t do it to others. That’s not complicated right? Actually it can be.
It’s natural to want to promote your business (especially if you own it), but you should make a conscious effort not to.
If they want to be sold to, they can check out the services page on your website.
Don’t hang around the same crowd
This isn’t to say that your crowd is unpleasant (or worse: boring), but you’ve absolutely got to get out and diversify your network.
Meet people from other industries, and even establish friendships with your competitors. Often, your closest rival will be your best referral source if you establish the right relationship with them.
Give without the expectation of receiving
If you refer business to a fellow networker, don’t pressure them to return the favor. Your energy is better spent racking your brain for another lead to refer to them.
Be willing to receive
By putting others first, you’ll find that you’ll evoke the same attitude from others. They’ll naturally want to refer you business. Not because they feel they owe you, but because they genuinely appreciate what you’ve done for them.
Have a success story from networking?
Share it in the comments ↓