How many times have you attended a networking event to hear someone try to sell you something? I think that’s why so many people avoid “networking.” When I network, I try my best to find out from people I meet who their ideal networking partner would be.
For example, let’s say you’re a mortgage broker or loan officer. Wouldn’t your ideal networking partner be a real estate broker or agent? After all, if you were buddies and they have clients interested in buying homes, wouldn’t you hope they refer those clients to you for their home loans? And, if you had 100 real estate agents who absolutely loved your professionalism and ability to close loans fast, you would probably be in a good place with the number of referrals you receive right?
So, let’s see how we can help our business connections and friends with networking. I think this makes a great new year resolution. Personally, I am going to devote a set amount of time each week making introductions for my key contacts. I will be starting with my FORE Networking members who I see twice a month for golf. And, once I get into the rhythm, plan to expand the number of contacts I do this for.
Here’s how easy it is. I like to use Linkedin since it allows me to do an advance search and I have such a large number of direct connections. If I am looking for loan officers, I simply run an advanced search locally and type in loan in the job title field. I also select “1st Connections” under Relationship. Once my list populates, I can send a direct message to that contact, CC my friend and introduce them to each other.
Here’s an illustration on the process:
This is a great way to pay it forward. Obviously, we’d love to be able to refer a potential buyer to all of our contacts. But, if we aren’t coming across that opportunity often enough, why not refer good networking contacts who may in turn do just that. What do you do to pay it forward in business?