Networking is a process. Developing a networking process is critical to success. When you network the right way, you gain customers, clients, strategic business partners, followers and networking partners and this translates into more money.Rich people are master networkers. Their networking efforts are intended to grow their association with other successful individuals. To the wealthy, relationships are like gold. It is the currency of the wealthy. Here’s some of the research from my study related to networking and building relationships.
- 88% of the wealthy believe relationships are a key factor in their wealth. Only 17% of the poor agree.
- 67% of the rich believe promoting yourself is important to success. Only 24% of the poor agree.
- 75% of the rich send thank you cards or notes or email regularly. Only 13% of the poor have this Rich Habit.
- 72% of the wealthy volunteer five hours or more each month compared to only 12% for the poor.
So how do you go about creating a networking process and incorporate it into your life?
1. Join Networking Groups/Clubs: BNI International is the most popular but you can create your own networking group.
2. Join Boards of Local Businesses: Reach out to your clients, customers, business partners and local business community and ask if they have an advisory board. If they do, offer your services as a board member. If they don’t, help them set one up.
3. Join Civic Groups: Lions Club, Rotary Club, Chambers of Commerce, Optimist Club etc. There are many business and non-business civic groups who are looking for members. These groups often refer business to one another.
4. Become a Speaker: Speaking engagements are probably the most valuable networking tool available. One speaking engagement can mean thirty or more potential clients/customers. Since many individuals fear public speaking, doing so sets you apart from the masses and you will be viewed as an expert.
5. Join a Non-Profit Group Board or Committee: Non-profit groups are a very valuable resource for referrals. You gain an opportunity to showcase your skills and develop long-lasting relationships. Referrals come from every direction; fellow members, vendors, donors and beneficiaries of the organization. Very often Board members are successful, wealthy individuals who have very strong, powerful relationships. When you join a non-profit, in time you will gain access to this treasure trove of valuable relationships.
6. Write: Writing sets you apart from your competition. As you develop your repository of articles you close the credibility gap in the eyes of customers/clients/patients/business partners. Writing hones your technical skills and makes you more competent in your field or industry. When you increase your technical skills, your eyes and ears open up to opportunities that were there all along. Writing creates opportunity luck.
7. Hello Call: Make a habit of calling at least one person every day for no other reason other then to say hello. This helps build the relationship and opens the door for opportunities.
8. Birthday Call: Call your clients, customers, family members, friends, business associates, neighbors and anyone one else you may know on their birthday. Our birthdays are very important to each one of us. When someone acknowledges a birthday it says “you are important to me.” People remember those who call them on their birthday.
9. Life Event Call: Call your contacts when something special happens to them or one of their family members. This could be a birth, death, newspaper mention, award, get well soon call, etc.
10. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinners: Periodically reach out to your contacts and ask them to breakfast, lunch or dinner. This casual get together is the perfect setting to generate opportunities.
Some final points I’d like to make. No one is successful on their own. Success does not happen in a vacuum. The most successful people in the world are part of an expansive and strong network of other successful people. Good relationships don’t simply manifest themselves out of thin air. They are the byproduct of investing time and energy in growing and nurturing the right relationships. Not everyone you meet is worthy of your investment. You need to be selective in choosing who will be a part of your relationship network. The wealthiest invest in relationship givers and avoid relationships takers like the plague.The wealthy avoid negative people and only associate with upbeat, positive people.