Building your network…generosity is the key
The great myth of networking is that you to reach out to others only at the time of need. This is incorrect. Successful individuals built their network long before they needed anything at all. Creating a community is not a short term solution or one off activity only to be used when necessary. Building a powerful network is a journey not a destination. It begins with a predetermined plan and a strategy to carry it out. The strategy is built upon the constant process of connecting – of offering and asking for help.
When you put people in touch with one another and give your time, expertise and share freely, the pie gets bigger for everyone.
Learning how to connect is one of the most important skills you will ever learn. Effective networking is not about serving yourself. Rather, finding ways to make other people more successful. Successful producers understand that real networking is about generosity not greed. It is about giving before you receive. Learning how to help others succeed is the key ingredient in networking success.
Here are 10 secret recipes for networking success:
- Discover your unique abilities and value proposition in the marketplace. Deliver a process to uncover issues to solve other people’s problems.
- Put together a personal board of advisers. Consider experienced business leaders with wisdom and the ability to mentor. Seek out role models with experience, wisdom and a gift of sharing.
- Be patient. Networks take time to develop.
- Think of networking as collecting friends who share your passion to serve others.
- Get involved in activities which interest you. Assume leadership roles when the occasion arises.
- Figure out who are the super connectors in your community (i.e., CPAs, attorneys, business advisors, etc.)
- Establish a relationship management system to stay in contact with your network.
- Take risks. You must be willing to take some risks in connecting. The worst anyone can say is “No.”
- Networking is not a numbers game. It is strategic, thoughtful and deliberate.
- Generosity is the key. Remember to give before you receive.
A powerful network is not exclusive to insurance agents and brokers. Attorneys, accountants, bankers, investment advisers and other professionals benefit from the process of connecting. Your potential for connecting at this moment is bigger than you ever imagined. All around you are golden opportunities to develop relationships with people you know who know people you don’t know. The act of connecting with your circle of clients, family and friends is powerful and exhilarating.