Anyone who follows my blog knows one of my favorite things to do is to get out and Network. I go to as many Business After Hour events as I possibly can, and try to get to as many community events as possible as well. I have found in my 38 plus years in sales that nothing takes the place of what use to be referred to as getting out and "Pressing The Flesh". Today "Pressing The Flesh" has been replaced by a much more politically correct word "Networking", and I am a firm believer Networking Is A Great Way To Increase Business.
Because of my strong belief in Networking, I try to blog about it from time to time to impress on others the importance of it. When I do blog about Networking I like to share what has worked well for me in utilizing Networking as a way to increase my business. It is important to keep in mind as you read my suggestions below, not all of these will be possible to do by everyone, and some will be specific to the point in life we are in. I will explain this further in a minute.
Because I enjoy Networking, I have developed my skills through the years. As a result there are a few things I have learned on how to be more effective and efficient at Networking which I will try to share, and hopefully convince others Networking Is A Great Way To Increase Business. Basically I have six very basic and simple tips which I would like to share which anyone can do.
- Join Several Groups, Organizations, And Appropriate Ways To Network With Them: You not only need to be out in the community, you need to be in contact with various segments of the community as well. The best way I have found to do this is to join, and be involved with different groups and organization within the community. In other words don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Some groups I feel are very effective are:
- The Chambers of Commerce
- Service Clubs like - The Rotary, Exchange, Kiwanis, Lions, and Elks
- Country Clubs
- A Church or Temple, etc.
- PTO, PTA, or other School Organizations
- Park & Rec Programs
- Little League
- Youth Soccer
- Pop Warner Football
- Youth Basketball
- Boy/Girl Scouts
- Performing Arts
- Martial Arts Classes
These are just a few of the many Groups and Organization in most communities. Most people I know who are good at networking, are also people who want to and enjoy being around others and helping them. The more you do, the more of a connection you will make in the community.
As I mentioned earlier, It is important to keep in mind as you read my suggestions below, that not all of these will be possible to do by everyone, and some will be specific to the point in life we are in. For example I no longer have young children in the house, so my involvement in Park & Rec Sports, Boy Scouts, PTO/PTA no longer apply to me, but they have formed relationships for me in the past which I still apply in my life today.
- Develop Good Referral Sources: These are other professionals or businesses, who are in other professions who you can refer others to, and who will in turn refer others to you. For example for me it would be:
- Insurance Agents
- Home Inspectors
- Financial Advises
- And believe it or not even other Loan Originators as well.
You also need to be ready at all times to refer these referral sources, by making sure you have their contact information handy at all times. Carry some of their business cards with you, or have some of your business cards with these referral sources listed on the back. Ask your referral sources to do the same for you, after all if you refer clients to them, they should refer clients to you.
- Acknowledge Referral Sources Or Past Customers When They Refer A Client To You: Pick up the phone and say thank you, or send a hand written note. Neither of these things cost must, or take much time, but there effectiveness is priceless.
- Learn What Is Appropriate And What Is Not For Each Group – A proper way to network within one group may not be appropriate for another. Handing out business cards maybe appropriate at a Chamber event, or at service group like the Rotary, Exchange, and Kiwanis clubs, but not appropriate in a Church.
- Networking Is Not About Being Pushy - It is about developing relationships, and constantly working on improving those relationships. It is also not about seeing how many business cards you can pass out at each event. Yes we need to be prepared to give our business to those we meet, but it needs to be done in the process of developing a relationship with them. This brings me to my last point.
- Develop Quality Relationships - Quality Relationships are developed through bring value to those you are networking with. This will not only result in receiving repeated referrals and business, it will also result in giving referrals to others as well.
Networking is something I have been sold on since my introduction into sales 38 plus years ago, and I am a firm believer that Networking Is A Great Way To Increase Business. My belief in Networking is because of the results in increased business though out the years. I am a firm believer that nothing replaces "Pressing The Flesh".
Info about the author:
George Souto NMLS# 65149 is a Loan Originator who can assist you with all your #FHA, #CHFA, and #Conventional #mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes #Middletown, #Middlefield, #Durham, #Cromwell, #Portland, #Higganum, #Haddam, #East Haddam,# Chester, #Deep River, and #Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or firstname.lastname@example.org