How to network strategically and get more referrals. Networking is very simple. Networking is all about talking to the right people about their favorite subject and then following up with them. Write that down!
Networking is part of marketing, it’s not part of sales. If you’re networking to try to get business from the people you’re networking with, and it’s not working, that’s why. Networking is marketing. Marketing is designed to cultivate a referral network. That’s why it’s called networking, right? So the idea is you go and you identify who the influencers are either by their job, by their position in society, or by their temperament. It doesn’t have to necessarily be someone with great credentials but there are influencers in every community. You identify who those influencers are. You see where they’re going. They may be going to formal networking events like a BNI group or something like that, or they may be standing behind the counter at their store just meeting and greeting all of the people who come and go and being a resource to their staff. Identify who is in a position to refer business to you; that’s number one.
Next, talk to them about their favorite subject. Their favorite subject is always very predictable. It’s going to be their business, their occupation, their profession, their family, their kids, their hobbies; it’s their interests. Ask them about these things. Put them on a pedestal and ask them all about what they like best about their business, their industry, and where they see their future going in whatever they are doing. Make sure you only ask positive questions. This way they will connect you with positivity, stay positive!
Make sure to tell them what you do very briefly. Put it in terms of why they should care. For example, I would say I’m the CEO of How to Manage a Small Law Firm. That would be very boring, no one cares about that. If I was speaking to someone and I wanted them to care I’d say, I help lawyers make more money in record time.
Even if they’re not a lawyer they might know a lawyer and what I just said will then resonate with them and if they’re interested, they’ll ask for follow-up. If they’re not, you add them to your (rainmaking) rolodex and come back to them.
You have to but constantly be on the lookout for how to connect A and B in your network and be that connector, that person who recognizes when people should be doing business together and they’ll love you for it. In return, they’ll refer business back to you because you care enough to refer business to them.
This last point will be on networking; it’s called networking it’s not called net socializing. Do not go and pretend like you’re networking by going and hanging around with a bunch of other lawyers who do the same thing you do. Hanging around with people who do the same as you won’t get you far.Hang around with realtors, hang around with family therapists, anyone who doesn’t do the same thing that you do because the odds are those who do the same as you are not going to refer you business. That’s why so many lawyers go around and they spend years and years networking and they think it doesn’t work. In reality, it isn’t working for them because they are hanging around and networking with people who do the exact same thing that you do, they are not likely to send business your way.
Remember: networking, not net socializing!