Today we're going to talk about the second biggest mistake in business. I’d like to talk about the various aspects of business leadership, personal growth, and entrepreneurship. I'm going to talk to you about your networking strategy. Last week we covered the number one biggest mistake in business I'm networking, which is not taking it seriously and not engaging in business.
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The Second Biggest Mistake When Business Networking (Part 2)
I want to talk about the second biggest mistake in business networking. Now, the second biggest mistake is this: It's thinking that it is an overnight strategy for growing your business. Business networking is absolutely, unequivocally 100 percent a long game strategy and you've got to get that in your mind. You got to understand that this is a long game. You're a farmer in this instance. When it comes to business networking, you're farming, you're tending, you're planting seeds, you're watering, you're being consistent. I want to give you five things.
#1: When it comes to business networking, you've got to be consistent. Be consistent in your attendance at an event. Don't pick 30 events and go to all of them in one month and then never go again for a year, because you saw 30 different groups of people one time that entire year. You'd be better off going to one event once a month consistently, than trying to go to every event once a year.
Business networking is all about building that KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST factor that we talked about last week, KLT: Know, Like, and Trust factor. You want to build that. You can only build that by consistency.
#2: Be a go-giver. Don't show up at an event and just expect people to throw business your way. You’ve got to go in there and prove that you're on the team, that you're in it for them, but you want to see them win, that you're looking out for their best interests. Send some business their way. When you talk to people, find out what interests them. What is a good lead for the people in that group? Then find a lead for them and give it to them with no expectation in return. Just begin to give. Just begin to hand out their way, collect cards, talk to people, send an email saying, “Hey, I heard about this person that might be of interest.” I talked to my chamber and I want to him to share a story here in a minute of Benbrook, Texas Chamber. If you're in the Benbrook Southwest Fort Worth, I encourage you to go to Benbrook Chamber and join up. It's a great chamber. I would find people that I thought would be a benefit to them as speakers. They have speakers every month and I would put them together and say, “Hey, here's an opportunity. This person might be a good lead for you guys to bring in. I think your membership base would be interested in this speaker.” Then give the information. It's putting me back on their radar, but it's looking out for their best interest.
#3: You've got to plant seeds. At business networking events and luncheons and mixers, you've got to help people understand how you can be a benefit to them. Plant seeds. It's not their responsibility to think of all the different ways that you could serve them. That's your responsibility and it's your responsibility to connect those dots. Put it together for them in a real natural way. Plant seeds.
#4: You’ve got to water those seeds. From time to time you want to water, you want to call up, you want to mention, “Hey, I'd still love to do that for your organization. I’d still like to help you guys out in that way.” Water those seeds.
#5: Be patient. Be patient with this process.
Now, let me share a story with you that illustrates all of these five points. I went to the member chamber luncheon for the first time, built some relationships. A month later I went back again. I said, “You know what? If you ever need a speaker, I do leadership training. I'd love to come in totally for free to you. If you'd want to put something together. I'd love to do that. We can put something together for your membership base and serve them in that way.” They said, “Okay, great, we’ll think about it.” I didn't push the point. I didn't hit the gas pedal and say we need to make this happen now. I just planted a seed. A couple months go by. I mentioned it again and say, “Hey, we haven't talked about this. Is that something you guys are even interested in or something you want to do? I have a host site that would be willing to do it. Where are you guys at?” And they said, “no, we're interested. It's just a busy time.” “Okay, fine. That's great.” All along, I am consistently going to luncheons. I'm volunteering my time. I'm serving. I'm joining up on an ambassadors team to volunteer to make myself more present and show that I am on the team.
I'm not coming in here trying to make a quick sale, but I'm on the team consistently. Go giver. Fast forward several months later. I'm talking to the president of the Chamber and she says, “you know what, I'd like to go ahead and put together that training if we can do it.” I said, “we can do it, we can make it happen. Let's pick a date and let's make it happen.” We put together the training. Fast forward about six weeks. We have 25 people show up for this training that we put together. The training goes fantastic. Out of that training, I got two people that are going to be a part of a small group training that I'm doing. I've got an organization that's going to bring me in after the first of the year to do a training with their branch in another branch, do leadership development, and I'm working with an organization right now inside their organization.
I just had a meeting with them and did a group coaching session with them. I got three more that I’m going to do with them in the coming weeks all from that one free training that I did. I planted the seeds for a year.
When I talk about business networking, and I say it's a long game approach, I really mean it's a long game approach. You have to be consistent, you have to be a go-giver, you have to plant seeds, you need to water seeds, and then you need to be patient.
That is your tip for business networking. I hope that gave you some good stuff you can think about. If you're looking for someone that can do some sales training at your organization or leadership development training, I would love to come into your organization and have a meeting with you and find out how I can best serve you. Have a great day.