Learn key tips for Networking to get results in the market place. Learn why you should give great value for people's money.
Another networking do is to bring value. What do I mean by that? I mean give value to people. For instance, one time when book “Gorilla Publicity” first came out, I remember a wonderful woman who used to send me clippings that she found them in the papers, and she’d write a little note across the newspaper. “Great Job, Jill.”, “Excellent!”, and small little things as well. When “Networking Magic” came out, I called her and I said “can we feature you in Networking Magic? Because I think you do things that really keep you in connection and contact, and brought value to me.” Why? She found things quicker than I did. She was maybe reading the paper before I was. And it was helpful to get her pieces in the mail. It always brought a smile to my face. Who, and what do you know that can help others? Another networking do is to be honest, courteous, and fair. Well, I know these sounds simple, but when it comes to taking a look at how do you want to live your life and networking with people so that everything’s straightforward. They understand that the price you give Jane will be the same price you give Joe, that you’ll always treat them with courtesy and respect, and that you deal fairly with them. It’s of course an essential cornerstone to business and a very important part of networking. I find that people, when they comment about other people, will say “Yes. You have a lot of integrity”. “Well, oh boy, aren’t they a nice person?”, “boy, I really like Jane.” You know, it occurs to me that people will often judge people on these quick interactions they have with each other, on their kindness, and their willingness to listen, be honest, and give value, all the things that we’ve been talking about. Another important networking do is to follow up. Don’t you hate when you give someone a card, and they say they’re going to call you on Tuesday. Tuesday comes and goes, now it’s Wednesday. Maybe you call them? They still don’t call you back. Or even worse, when you call people three different times, and they don’t have the courtesy, in my opinion, to call you back. I make it a general policy to work to return calls within 24 hours. Now, sometimes, that doesn’t happen. But I would stress you, as a general rule, make sure to honor people by following up their telephone calls to you, even if it’s to say “Now’s not a great time to talk. But we can set up an appointment in three weeks”. One of the people who I mentored with, who has a very big name, I called his office six weeks in advance and said I would like an appoint, and I want to spend an hour in the phone asking some questions. Would you set up an appointment with me? And by golly, six weeks it took, but I got that appointment. And you know what happened? Right when we were supposed to have the appoint, they called me and said “you know, I can’t quite do it. Schedule got busy. Can we put it for another three weeks from now?” But, you know, they followed up, they kept me informed, and they made it so that at least we were in constant communication. And I had that conversation with that person. And it was worth the wait. And I got a ton of resources, and seven more names to follow up with because I kept in the follow up with him. And I said he’s too busy, he’s too famous, he’s too all of those things. I would have loved that opportunity to create some incredible networking for me. Another important thing is to keep referrals informed at all times. Let them know what happened from your connections. Let them know that the client signed the contract. One thing I do is we’ll pay them a commission, or a referral fee. Make sure that your referrals know are you going to have referral fees. If you are, get that in writing so that you would have that agreement between you. What kind of relationship will you have that way? If there are not going to be referral fees, perhaps you send them movie tickets, or some kind of dinner certificate. But make sure that they know that something happened. I love the “thank you’s” I get for—“Jill, thanks so much for connecting us. It’s been a really terrific relationship, and here’s what happened.” So real key to keep your referrals informed and let them know what’s happening with the business that you’re sending them, even if they don’t really care and do it because they just want to help you. I think its common courtesy to let them know what’s happening. Now, look at the big picture with networking. In other words, don’t look at it as one networking event that you’re going to, this once a month event at a chamber. No, it’s the big picture. So, for instance, my networking big picture looks like that. I measure for how many networking events I go to every single month. Now, I measure for four months. I’m not asking you to do that. Start with one. But in my big picture, networking is essential to connecting, to visibility, to credibility, and I think it creates a trust factor. I think that what I call belly-to-belly marketing, when they can see you and feel you and look in your eyes, makes a big difference for you. That’s part of my big picture. Think about what your big picture is. What is it you really want to accomplish through networking, and then, thinking back, looking at the right audience, keeping your referrals informed and giving great value to people will keep your networking real humming.