You shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands, because, at some point, you need to be able to throw something back.
The best networkers are those who give to others because they sincerely love to give and not because they hope to receive something in return. However, even the most giving and generous networkers will eventually stop giving when they repeatedly receive nothing back. That is why it is everyone’s job to make sure they are actively networking for all the members of the group.
Think of networking as gardening; you must turn the soil, plant the seeds, continually pay attention to growing before you can reap the harvest. In networking, you have to find a group of people who are willing to network, you plant the seed of your business or service with your one-on-ones, you attend the functions to make sure everyone remembers your name, and, most importantly, you make sure that you start the giving.
Networking isn’t selling…and selling isn’t networking. Networking and selling are like oil and water; both are vital for your financial engine but keep them in separate containers. Bestselling networking author, Susan RoAne writes, “It’s a lifestyle, not a work style. The best networkers don’t know that they’re networking because for them it’s a way of life.” Top networkers don’t network for financial rewards; they network because they love helping people and playing matchmaker.
If you want long-term success, understand that networking requires a sincere desire to help others. If you are only in it for the money, or for yourself, it won’t work.
In the 1920’s, Elmer Letterman was an insurance salesman in New York City. He reserved a table for 4 at the Four Seasons Hotel five days a week. He would call a client or prospect and ask them who they would like to meet. He would arrange a luncheon for no more than three quests. His plan was to help his clients or prospects develop contacts that would enhance their careers. He carried no brochure, or rate book, and he sold no insurance at the table. If anyone asked him about insurance, his comment was, “I will have my partner give you a call.” Elmer became a multimillionaire.
The lesson is, instead of concentrating on increasing your profits, put your efforts into helping others.
But let’s revisit what Elmer did. Every day he invited three people to lunch. What if you had a strategic partner you worked with? Since your leads are good for them, and their leads are good for you, once a week they could invite one person to lunch, and you invite one person to lunch. There you have it, four people to lunch. It makes it a lot easier to accomplish working as a team, doesn’t it?
Copyright Wayne A. Curto 2020