#834 Do you want to bust through the door or be invited in?
Last Thursday I had lunch with two major league networkers. One of them created a networking group on his own a dozen years ago and now has over 50 regular members who meet monthly and lead one another into business. The other runs more than a dozen networking dinners and lunches a year. Both guys are over 60 and are still active in business development. (That's a lesson in itself.)
Neither of them makes any profit off of the networking events themselves, but both put in a lot of time to organize and run them well. Both men are very successful, and neither one has to cold call for business; how about you?
Tom's networking group has seen his authenticity and trustworthiness first hand as he runs the monthly meetings. They do not hesitate to recommend him to their clients or friends when his services are needed. He also attends fifty or more other networking events a year. It could be a Chamber of Commerce dinner or a tax seminar, but whatever it is, if Tom is there, he's meeting people, exchanging cards and then getting in touch. This strategy has served him well, and he has all of the business he can handle coming to him rather than him chasing it.
The same goes for Carl. Carl creates networking dinners he calls "The Gathering." Carl finds a venue in Manhattan and negotiates a nice, several course, menu that usually costs about $65 per person. He makes zero money on the tickets. He then sends invitations out to his network of business associates who, in turn, invite other associates. In the end, 50+ people are meeting and chatting and exchanging contact information over a glass of wine or a cocktail as they do their meet and greet for a half hour or so before dinner. Then they pick out their dining partners for the evening and continue to meet folks and exchange ideas. Imagine that for the price of a dinner that you will invariably go out for on your own, you can, instead, get the same great meal and ask for the contact information from a bunch of different businesses who are there for the same purpose and therefore, happy to exchange! If you were cold-calling, you'd have to make 100 calls to get one of these high-end contacts to reluctantly talk to you. At Carl's events, you can meet dozens.
This is the way business gets done. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Step one is getting to know people and these two guys have mastered the art and built their careers with it.
In just one lunch with them, I was asked to meet with an executive who needs my services and invited to four different networking events!
How many new contacts can I meet eating a sandwich at my desk or sitting on my lazy boy watching Game of Thrones?
Own your sales gene…