Is anyone else tired of networking? 

Let me put this into context: 

I LOVE live events. I LOVE connecting with people. What I don’t love is going to an event or networking group and being bombarded by folks who hand out their business cards like candy or want me to buy their stuff after their 30-second commercial (or heaven forbid 3-5 MINUTE elevator pitch). Or have you had this happen? You give someone your business card you are suddenly on their email list? Oy!

Networking can have a bad rap but let’s change that! 

In some people’s minds, networking has been replaced by investing very little and expecting to get a lot out of it. When I say investing, I mean two things: The actual money you invest to be there and the time you invest to connect with people. 

Most “networking” is just not working. So what does work? Really, how can you make money from networking and really build your business with the right people? Here are five tips: 

  1. Go to places that have invested people. Would you rather network with a room full of 10 people who have paid $50 to be there than a room full of 200 people who invested $0 to be there? Think about what you are investing in. Think about the people in the room. If they invested to be there, chances are, they are likely invested buyers to improve their life, business and health. 
  2. Hang out where your people are. Look for ideal clients, ideal referrals and ideal JVs. Your client may not be in the room, but do they know your ideal client and can you build a relationship with them for a great referral? Or what about JVs? Who else attracts your ideal clients? Connect with them and see how you can support each other! 
  3. The Fortune is not in the follow up! I’m retracting words I used to teach here. I’ve recently had an epiphany. I’m going against what a lot of people teach with this one. It’s actually very time consuming to follow up with people. The fortune is not in your follow up, it’s in your follow up SYSTEM. And when you can automate that system, then you are leveraging your time, you are serving more people and you are making money in your business. Is your follow up automated? Do you have a way to weed out the “tire kickers” and qualify you’re A-List prospects? Or are you spending hours putting contacts into a system but nothing is happening? Did you know that if you follow up with someone within five minutes of meeting them they are 22 times more likely to do business with you? 
  4. Show up more than once. I trust that this is self explanatory. 
  5. Build relationships. This requires authenticity and real connection. The best way to do this is to GIVE first. Don’t EXPECT people to give you business. Treat it like the gift that it is. Be gracious. Be the kind of referral source that you want to receive.

Let’s redefine “networking” to really be what it can be and that is to build real relationships, connect authentically and create a collaborative community. Networking is not about scarcity or “me verses them.” There is plenty to go around. 

The biggest way to maximize your networking is to get clear on what result you provide and communicate it succinctly in 10-30 seconds. Your message is not about HOW you do what you do, but what is the result?

To do that, you need to focus on ONE thing when you are networking. You may be multi-faceted with multiple things you do. Be known for ONE thing first, then expand. When you are everything to everyone, you become nothing to no one. And that is a painful thing because I know you want to make a big difference for people. 

Be clear on your unique message. If you don’t know what that is, chances are you are too close to it to recognize the grand gift that you are. And, you are a gift to this world! If you want support with knowing what your message is, contact me for a 75-minute message strategy session so you can speak confidently about what you offer and BE CONFIDENT about what you do. Those two things attract your ideal clients!