Trust is Built with Consistency. Lincoln Chafee
Whether you are using Social Media or Face-2-Face Networking, you must have strategies in place to yield results. Now that you have thought about what your needs are, we can talk about some of the types of groups you can attend.
The rule of thumb is 3:
1. A strong contact group like a formal Network Association.
2. A casual contact group like a Chamber of Commerce or organization .
3. A service group like a Rotary or a social group like a Meet Up.
Once you have joined your selected groups, you are ready to deepen your relationships with the other members . Be clear that your goal is not to get referrals, but rather, to start building a relationship that has a foundation of trust. This is the hardest part of networking because we live in a society of immediate gratification. Rarely do we practice patience and wait for our rewards. However, it is important to understand this concept that before you can start exchanging referrals and build a referral marketing system, you have to put your time in. You must build your visibility and credibility before you can expect to get a referral. It is also a good idea to get to know the people you are referring to, so you can give referrals with confidence.
You have started collecting tools to use like your “Elevator Pitch” that you have prepared & practiced (template at rdbusinesslifecoach.com). You have a clear focus on your goals for the meeting or event and you feel confident and composed. You have the “Network 1-2-1 Sheet” (template at rdbusinesslifecoach.com) for effective information exchanging dialogue for best results.
Attending a Meeting or Event: It is a good idea to get there early; you can scope the situation and you’re not running in late. You want to be noticed and remembered, but in a positive light. You will want to speak clearly and at a good pace. Don’t go running around talking quickly and collecting as many cards as you can. It is not a “card contest”! You will be much more successful having authentic conversations with a few people you focus on to connect with.
Do Unto Others.
Now comes the understanding that it really is better to give than to receive. You may be saying “Why?” I mean if I am going to invest all this time and do all this work, and give, give, give, what is the point? Well, all of the people you are networking with have gotten to know you, like you and trust you. They too, understand the principle giving is better than receiving. So, who are they going to give to? You, you, you. What you put out into the Universe comes back. Therefore, let’s talk about how to give a strong referral that will build your credibility in the networking arena. As a giver and networker, there are strategies to use so you actually give a good referral .
Here are the next 3 strategies to use when effectively networking.(For the first 6, see previous blogs).
7. Get to know the person you are giving the referral to. A good way to do this is to have a 1-2-1 with your referral partners. Meeting for a coffee, taking a walk, lunch, even a brief visit to their place of business will give you a good idea of who they are and the services and products they provide. When I am on a 1-2-1, I use a Graphic Organizer I developed. I refer to it during the meeting and keep it in a file as a referral tool. I also provide one already completed for my referral partner so they have the information on my business. It is difficult to learn everything and retain the information after just one meeting. This tool gives you a point of reference. You can get it free on my website www.rdbusinesslifecoach.com. Make sure that the products and services they provide are a good match for the person you are referring.
8. Listen to what the person is in need of. When you talk to a prospect, listen attentively to their needs, than select a referral partner that you believe will be a good match. Give the person their card and ask them how they would like to be contacted.
9. Time is of the Essence. Make sure you pass the referral to the person you are referring as soon as possible. Give them as much information on the prospect as you can. The more accurate you are about the referrals you pass, the more credibility you build with your referral partners. Remember, networking is a give and take of like-minded people who are building a relationship to put a referral based marketing system into place. Well, this is enough information for you to go out and try now Remember, there are lots of holiday gatherings you can practice these strategies at.
Your turn: Feel free to email me your questions. Let us know what you did and how it went. Good luck & have fun building relationships! Your Coach, Rose.Share