5 Tips To Improve Networking Success
As a real estate investor networking is one of the foundations for success. The more people you connect with the greater the chance that you will find deals in your area. The way networking is done has changed over the years. It is not enough to exchange business cards and meet for coffee a few months down the road. You need to constantly stay in touch with everyone you meet and take a proactive approach. Fortunately changes in technology have made this easier than ever. How you network separates you from your competition. By making just a few subtle tweaks in your networking approach and presentation you will see a dramatic increase in your results. Here are five tips to help improve your networking success.
- Show Up. As simple as it sounds half of the battle with networking is showing up. You need to make the commitment to attend local networking meetings and clubs regardless of whatever else you have going on in your business. There will very rarely be a day that you aren’t juggling multiple tasks or projects. Being busy is not an excuse to skip a networking meeting. Regardless of the business people like to work with people they feel comfortable with. You can help gain that comfort with repetition and familiarity. The more people that see and talk to you the more likely they will refer you when an opportunity presents itself. Every networking meeting or club is the chance to connect with someone who could completely change your business. That should be the mindset you have with everyone you meet. None of this happens by staying home or waiting for the next meeting. If you are not present at the meeting someone else may find opportunity that would have gone to you.
- Make Them The Star. When talking to people at the meetings you attend it is important put the focus on them. Nobody wants to hear all of the accomplishments you have done or the deals you have closed. You should have a genuine interest on who you are speaking with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their business or personal lives. You should avoid turning the conversation around to you and your business. Only bring this up if you are asked and if so keep your answers short and sweet. You will have time to expand on this down the road but for your initial conversation you need to make them your focus. By doing this they will gain a level of comfort with you. Many networkers feel they have to promote themselves and their accomplishments. In reality the opposite is true. People will take the next step of a follow up meeting or phone call if they enjoyed the conversation. By making the other person the star you increase your chances.
- How Can You Help Them? In initial stages of networking you should always think about how you can help the other person. What value are you adding to their business? Either during the initial conversation or in the first follow up you should have a few examples of what you can do for them. If you can fill a void in their business you are more likely to end up working together. Think about past examples or similar situations where you formed a connection and worked together. Even though you are most likely receiving a benefit as well you should keep the focus on helping them. With this you need to make sure that you can actually do whatever it is you say you can do. You can end the relationship before it begins by over exaggerating your skills or contacts. There is nothing wrong with saying you don’t know how to do something or something isn’t in your skill set. If you can’t do something but find someone that can you will be surprised on what it does to a relationship.
- Second Conversation. Most connections aren’t made during the initial conversation. Even if there is a great fit most people need to reinforce it with a follow up connection. Your second conversation is usually the indicator of whether or not they want to move forward. Here is where you can stand out from the crowd. Always remember the name of the person who you speak with as well as any other pertinent information from the conversation. Think about what it would do if you bring up something specific that was discussed a month ago. You can bet that they will be impressed. It is important that you do a little bit of preparation prior to attending a networking event. Think about who you spoke with and some specifics of the conversation. This small amount of due diligence goes a long way in forming a networking relationship.
- Follow Up Meeting. Every business card you receive is an invitation for a connection. Start by reaching out to them on all of the various social media and website platforms. From there you should store their email address on your networking database and make a networking plan. Always send them an initial email asking if they would like to be put on your referral email network. In most cases they will have no issues with this. Every few weeks you should send them an individual email asking if they want to meet to discuss how you can help grow their business. This meeting should be where you make your full presentation and cement the relationship.
Networking is all about persistence and availability. By making just one solid networking connection every week you will see a huge impact on your business.