The secret and the power of connecting.
Everyone wants to know how to connect.
Everyone wants to know how to make appointments.
Everyone wants to know how to meet the right people.
Everyone wants to connect more to sell more.
Everyone wants to connect more to succeed more.
But very few people know that the secret is to become known FIRST – making it easier to make connections. In other words – making THEM want to meet you.
The phrase to remember and work towards is PERSONAL MARKET DOMINANCE. And it applies to your business, your community, and your community marketplace.
Becoming known in your community as a person of value.
Becoming known in your industry as a person of value.
When you become known as a person of value, then and only then, can you make valuable connections.
The business community needs to know you. Key players in your industry need to know you. When they know you, it makes the connection process attractive to them, not just attractive to you.
NETWORKING means taking the opportunity to meet people at special events, earmarked for either business or social. At a business event, you need to attend prepared to meet people and prepared for who you would like to meet. Know your objectives, have a game plan, and have a personal commercial that both asks questions and makes statements. When I go to a networking event, I look to go slightly beyond networking to making friends, connecting with people, and seeing if I can help them get business. This is a process known as Netweaving – details of which are in my Little Black Book of Connections.
But in essence, it’s finding business for others, rather than simply trolling for leads yourself. When I first began networking in Charlotte, North Carolina, I spent untold hours out meeting people, trying to know them, trying to figure out how I fit with them, and, of course, trying to sell them.
One day, accidentally (which by the way, is how most success occurs), I was prepared to have an accidental AHA! Through casual conversation, I found a guy in need of a copy machine AND I had a good friend who sold copy machines. I put one and one together, and it ended up equaling three. The copy machine company asked me to be a spokesperson for them. I made several commercials that played on the radio for months. People would stop me on the street and say, “Hey, I heard your commercial.” Turns out the commercial got me as much PR as it did the copier company. When you give – you always get. That’s the power of combining networking with connecting.
Most people don’t understand that the secret of networking is being prepared to ENGAGE – not prepared to network. If I ask you if you would love to have a conversation with an insurance agent about buying insurance, every one of you would say, “No.” And at a networking event, you might avoid this type of person like the plague.
But suppose an insurance person came up to you and asked, “How much money do you think you’ll need to retire?” And you respond, “Five million.” And he says, “Great! How much of that do you have right now?” And you sound like Jackie Gleason in the Honeymooners, “hamana, hamana, hamana.” And then insurance dude says, “I have a job. My job is to help people get from where they are, to where they want to be. I help them grow their money, and protect their families. I don’t know you and I don’t know if I can help you, but if you’re willing to have breakfast with me, and tell me a little bit about where you are – if I think I can help you, I’ll tell you, and if I don’t think I can help you, I’ll tell you that too. Is that fair enough?”
It’s hard to say no to that. There’s no implied risk. There’s nothing pushy about it. A successful connection has been made, and it would be your job, as salesperson, to make that connection bear fruit.
And so the challenge of the networking event remains, ARE YOU INTERSETING ENOUGH TO ENGAGE ME? Are you prepared enough to engage me?
If you are interesting, and you are prepared – then you can connect.
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