How to get the most out of the Sunrise NETWORKING Group?

  1. Lose the, “What’s in it for me,” way of thinking. That may be the first thing a person thinks about when they decide which networking group to participate in, but it is also the first attitude that needs to be dropped when the decision is made.
  2. Hone your listening skills. It seems like today we are being bombarded by noise, and we try to naturally tune it out. The skill you will need to use most often as a great networker is your listening skills.  It is only through listening that you can learn of the needs of other members.  It is a skill you will need to develop so you can help find opportunities for your networking partners … giving first, is the best way to become successful.
  3. Focus on relationship building. It is impossible to build a solid relationship with anyone, whether it is your wife, partner or children, unless you get to know them.  Without setting aside time to sit-down with someone in what we call, one-on-ones, how will you learn about the needs of your fellow networkers?
  4. The way to set yourself up to receive referrals, is to give them first. So many people join a networking group with the false impression that the membership will shower them with leads as soon as they start.  You need to get people’s attention, and the best way to tap someone on the shoulder is to give them a referral first.  We are all brought up to give back to someone who shows kindness to us.  It is the same with networking!  If someone gives you something, don’t you feel a little obligated to give something equally as good or better in return?  You can’t control when someone is going to give you something, but you can control when you start giving.  What are you waiting for?
  5. Explain to the membership with a clear message, what your business consists of. So many people have not taken the time to figure out in a clear message what they do.  People focus on themselves and will shutdown immediately if they do not understand what someone is explaining to them.  You need to use laymen terms, and maybe illustrate what you do with an example of someone you are currently doing business with.
  6. You need to be specific! If you generalize what you are looking for, such as, “all businesses,” or, “everyone that breathes,” people cannot focus on a specific contact that you should call on.  For example, if someone asks, “Do you know of any people who own horse farms I can work with,” you may be more inclined to help.  Your brain will mentally scan your contacts and try to be of assistance.  Be specific, and each time you ask for help, give your audience a new request.  Eventually, people will have a very good understanding of who they should be sending your way.
  7. Remember to give back. Your networking partners will tire really quickly if they start to think of their relationship with you as being, one-way.  Sometimes you can’t give someone referrals because you have an obligation somewhere else, and we all hate to fracture established relationships.  Have a conversation with the networking partner who has been sending you work, explain the situation, and maybe you can find something else you can do to re-pay them for their referrals.  By not taking the time to make it clear why you can’t return the favor, you are being unfair to the referral source, and it reduces you to being just a, taker!
  8. Networking Groups are more than just breakfast! If you want to get the most out of the SNG Membership, as in anything else, you need to get involved.  There is a difference in being “in your face,” and “in your mind.”  By scheduling a 7-minute presentation periodically at the breakfasts, coming early and leaving later, mingling at the SNG events, and helping at the events, you will guarantee yourself a place in everyone’s head.
  9. Remember to give thanks! The referrer has taken time out of their day, stopped what they are doing, in order to unselfishly help you.  A genuine, thank you is warranted.  Also, there is nothing worse than giving someone referrals, and then not knowing what they did with them.  I like to copy the referrer on at least the first email, so they know I started the process of getting back to the referred.
  10. Get them while they are hot. I explain to people that the correct way to refer someone is to use an email where you contact the networking partner and copy the referred.  That way, the referred is expecting to be contacted by the networking partner.  The worst thing to me is getting a call from someone who says, “Your buddy never called me!”  It is also the best way to kill your referral sources.  A good practice is to stop what you are doing and take a minute to start the dialogue with the referred by sending a quick email.




Copyright Wayne A. Curto 2019