Networking Blog #2 - Networking Referrals – Get Results
“The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.” Keith Ferrazzi
It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s dark outside and you have a networking event to attend about an hour or so drive away so no, you can’t slip back under the duvet for another 10 minutes, even though it’s 5.30 am!
Allowing time to get ready, have a cup of tea or coffee before you head and another quick check you have everything you need for the day ahead. Even if you prepare the night before, you never know!
Jump in the car at 6.00 am, wipers and heater on, asking yourself “am I mad?” as you head off to join the traffic. The roads are always busy, which is somewhat comforting when you realise you aren’t the only one up at crazy o’clock.
A new day lays ahead, new business owners to meet, new opportunities for you and your network … but are you prepared?
FORE Business Networkers ALWAYS carry their tools of trade (not just their golf clubs right?) – a pen, a notebook, business cards AND a list of referrals required for themselves or people in their network. We all know, that “failing to prepare, is preparing to fail.”
What about these referrals – have you a very clear requirement in mind that you can share at today’s meeting?
The key question is, exactly what do I (or my contact) want … for example; say your contact has a need to move premises. Perhaps it’s a customer of yours, a supplier, a business associate or friend.
What details will help people you are about to meet identify if they or someone they know can help?
a) your contact has a plumbing supplies business (the what)
b) they are located (the where)
c) what to stay in the area which is (?) (a key requirement)
d) they currently have offices and a warehouse they have outgrown (the why), and
e) their lease expires in 6 months (the when).
This helps people quickly determine if they or someone they know can help.
Offering a referral at a Group meeting demonstrates you are a true networker.
You have taken the trouble to offer some key information because you know that’s what grabs your attention when listening to others who offer referrals.
AND then ….
If someone indicates they or someone they know can help, immediately note down their name and catch up with them before the end of the meeting.
Swap business cards, he or she may need your services in the future.
Let them know you will pass their details to your contact.
Message or email the person who has the need and put the two parties in touch with one another and re-emphasise the requirements you originally shared when you made the referral. This helps clarify what was mentioned.
Ask them to let you know if it works out.
Now, how good will the drive home feel, even if your golf wasn’t up to scratch or the weather prevented play – you took action, you made a positive difference and you elevated your status in the Group as a Networker who can make things happen!
Well done, now who’s your next referral?
Networking Blog #1 - Are you “The Greatest Showman”?
“Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me”
Great movie, great song, but where’s this headed?
Picture this, you own a dental supplies company, you arrive at a networking event. After being welcomed by the host, you turn around and the next person you meet says “Hi, so what do you do?”
Do you ....
(a) launch into an explanation of how your company manufactures dental widgets that can’t be purchased for less anywhere else, are the best in the market, come in a range of colours, are installed by your specialist team, business is mad and you can’t find enough staff to ... WHOA … have the eyes of the person you are talking to glazed over yet?
(b) do you say “hi, we are the preferred supplier of dental widgets for dentists who specialise in reconstruction procedures, we currently cover the southwest and are highly commended for our quality, customer service and on-time delivery by our customers. This summer we are opening up an additional branch to service the Midlands. Tell me about your business …
Hopefully, you fall into the (b) category - short, to the point, memorable AND engaging!
But if this isn’t you, be honest, perhaps it’s time to rethink your unique elevator pitch!
Before you head off to your next networking event, refresh your introduction pitch. Make it short, snappy, informative and engaging.
Here’s an idea ... record your pitch on your mobile phone. Play it back and ask yourself ... does it cover these points? If not, perhaps it’s time to rework your pitch?
• What problem we solve
• What is our solution
• Who do we do this for (your target market)
• What differentiates us from our competition
• Why are we and our business partners the right team to work with
• What are our up and coming goals and when will we achieve them
• What significant milestones have we achieved
The next person you meet can quickly and easily identify if they or someone they know are an ideal referral for you. Very likely they will also find it easier to recall what you offer after the event.
Although we know every savvy networker carries a pen and notebook to make notes it is really important to be memorable for all the right reasons.
It takes just a few minutes to ensure you create a positive impact with a clear, concise and memorable message - worth it, I’m sure you agree.
Remember the words of the song from The Greatest Showman “I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me” … go get ‘em!