That’s right kids. It’s time to make our list and check it twice. No, not for who’s been naughty or nice?
Where is your business in 2012 going to come from? Do you need some new opportunities? New people? New connections? Perhaps you are looking for a job?
Maybe you need to do some Networking! Not the door to door knocking type, but getting out to some business events and meeting other business people that you might be able to refer business to, and in turn, they refer potential clients or job leads back to you! Now there’s a novel idea, eh?
But, as you head out the door to your next networking event, perhaps you should have a plan. What do you really want to accomplish, and how are you going to go about it?
- Who Do you Want to Meet?
- Network, DON’T Sell! The idea is to make connections, and then follow up from there!
- Introduce Others! It’s much easier to make conversation if you already know someone. And if there are two of you, and you see someone standing alone, go over and introduce yourselves. A great way for BOTH of you to make a new contact.
- Remember, not everyone is going to be a prospect. You will be able to figure out that there is just not going to be a connection. Move on.
- Speaking of moving on, try to limit your conversation to 8-10 minutes. If you talk to just a couple people the whole evening, you won’t make many contacts or grow your list!
- Follow up, Follow up, Follow up! What can I say? Don’t expect that if you meet a person one time, you are their real estate contact for life. You have to build that relationship.
Another good idea is to meet and/or know the organizer of the event. Try to meet them before or after the event and thank them for putting it together. This can put you on the top of the list for other events, maybe even a VIP event that you might not otherwise be invited to!
If you attend an event on a regular basis, it’s just natural to hang with the people you know…..NOT! Now, you and that other person can team up to meet other people, but don’t just hang with the people you know. Remember, our goal is to make new contacts! Make sure if you see someone that is new, make them feel welcome. Go one step further and invite a new person that you think could benefit from the event.
Where to Network?
Well, if you ask most real estate agents/brokers, they will tell you everywhere! And to some extent, that is true. Whether you are having your oil changed in your car, picking up your dry cleaning or visiting the vet with your dog, there is always an opportunity to meet someone!
One place you might look, is Networking For Professsionals (NFP). I use to host one of their local events here in Atlanta, and even wrote a blog about it the beginning of this year. NFP is truly what it says….networking. Not a bunch of guys or girls looking for a date (ah, come on, you all know you have been to those types of events before) but professionals looking to network. Be sure to check out their website, they host events in various cities around the country!
As you put your plans together for ’12, make sure networking is a part of them. You always need to be expanding your network!