One of my talents is networking. I understand the dynamics of keeping old friends, making new friends, joining organizations, becoming active in them and just being VISIBLE.
As a newbie in the mortgage business, I understood that beginning with a major networking campaign would be to my advantage. Understanding the laws of attraction, that it might take six months for the networking campaign to start paying off, I have been patiently (sort of) working it to my best advantage.
- First of all, I sent out a Postcard Mailing to my existing client base (otherwise known as everyone I have an address for who might know my name) - about 200.
- I have followed that up with joining the Board of Realtors, attending Realtor Open Houses, dropping into offices with flyers, not with a big sales pitch, as much as Increasing the Visibility Factor. I follow up with a note letting them know I appreciated meeting them.
- I sponsor open houses by bringing refreshments.
- I joined two committees, Habitat for Humanity Golf Tournament and Environmental Improvement Committee and actively support them.
- I volunteer monthly to be on the panel for the Realtors New Member Orientation Training
- I drop in to see Realtor Friends with a lunch occasionally,
- I religiously promote people, I refer people who I believe are good at what they do to each other: ie Appraisers, Insurance Agents, Inspectors, Realtors, Title Services.
- I read books, most recently Jeffrey Gitomer's Little Black Book of Connections.
- I ask the Sages of my Industry the WWJD question: in this case, What would Jane do?
Here's a couple of things I've noticed in the last three months:
Based on the book I mentioned, there are 6.5 Assets for Networking:
- Who do I know?
- What do I want"
- What do I do?
- How do I connect?
- Who knows you?
- The secret Power of Connections and 6.5 The Value of Connections
My "Sage" tells me, that networking is all about the relationship building. In the mortgage world, Its almost never about the rate or the program. Any good loan officer can figure that out - and I assume most do. But its the CLICK when you meet someone with a common interest. Its the personal CLICK that eventually moves you to the business world because TRUST was built.
On the positive side, I love people so all of this is fun to me, even though I guess you could call it work.
On the other side of the coin, staying so visible makes me feel like I'm always working. I go to Yoga, I go to the grocery store, I go to church, I go to basketball games, and I could just continue my day networking 24X7. There is a burnout risk here. So achieving BALANCE is always a factor. Sometimes, I don't bring a business card. And I don't put a sticker on my forehead. Its just for me.
On the positive side, I truly believe in the force of attraction. Stay positive, stay focused, believe that eventually word will spread and you'll get the business. But I have to remind myself to BE PATIENT.
When there is negativity on the horizon, I turn inward, and begin my GRATITUDE mediation. It helps my focus.
So does it all work? This morning I had six calls by 8:15 am. Referrals. Yesterday I didn't have any. Its baby steps.