I want to touch on how I have made networking and networking groups work for me. No matter what business you are in, there is an extremely high chance that you must develop new relationships to grow and succeed. And although I am constantly tweaking and revising my methods, for the most part, a few things have not changed . . .
First is, you must ATTEND! If you are on the fence about whether attending a networking group will be worth your time, trust me when I tell you, if you know how to “work” a group properly, every event you attend will be worth your while! Of course, not every event or group you go to will be awesome but the probability that you will meet at least a couple people that could help your business is HIGH!
Second is follow up. For a long time I had NO systems in place for follow up which essentially means attending the event was pointless. Over time, I have learned to write where and when I met the person (or ran into them if I already knew them) ON THE BUSINESS CARD with a Sharpie marker. Now, I know there are apps and such that will add them right to your contacts or CRM but that has not worked for me. I schedule time into my schedule twice per week to follow up with everyone I meet. Again, there are some people I may not want to follow up with and that is fine but it is nice to at least shoot them an email stating it was nice to meet them and if they ever need any help in your field, you are happy to try and help. It is just good mojo to put kindness into the world.
Third is to keep following up, ESPECIALLY with the people whom you could potentially receive business from. Now, I know this should be a no brainer, but I have attended HUNDREDS of networking events and I rarely receive any type of follow up, much less a second touch. Think of the impression you will make if you follow up regularly since few others are doing it. I am not basing this on my own experience alone, although it has worked for me. Other people in various fields have told me follow up is rare, they are bad at follow up themselves or conversely, when someone follows up regularly with them, they are more inclined to give that person a shot.
So there it is, my first blog post.. Hope you enjoyed it and hope you can put these tips into action and see results!
Pruitt Title is an independent,woman owned title insurance company licensed in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Kara Macdonald is the Director of Business Development and can be reached at 571-432-9382.