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Want to build your fortune? Build your network first

Let’s wrap up our discussion of networking by covering the final three rules of how to do it right.

The eighth rule of successful networking has to do with following up. I remember this one like a little dog. It’s like a pup. It’s Professionalism, Uniqueness and Promptness.

Professionalism is a combination of your unique, prompt follow up. Whether it’s acknowledging the initial contact with a quick email or a handwritten note or a telephone call, whatever it may be, if you’re prompt and professional with it, you’ll blow them away. You’re opening doors down the road.

And, whether it’s email, a handwritten note, a letter, an article, a phone call, a referral, or a contact that you want to introduce them to, make sure you do it promptly. Make sure you do it professionally, and make sure you do it in a unique way, so that you stand out in the mind of your prospect. Make an impact, because you are one of the very few who did what you said you were going to do.

Make sure your follow up is there. Handwritten notes are unique. If there’s a guy carrying around a camera, taking pictures at these events, get a picture taken with your prospect and load it up into Shutterfly, and make a notecard out of the picture with you and them, and then send that picture over. Say, “It was great meeting you, looking forward to meeting you again.” Share a couple of things in that note about the conversational points that you had.

Remember the PUP, be professional because you’re unique and you’re prompt.

Number nine: Give without expectation. One of the biggest keys to success in networking is to go out there and help somebody else get fish in their net. Help them get the wins. Help make the contact for them. Help get them a referral. Help get them a lead. Add value to them, and things come back to you tenfold.  Give without expectation. Stop worrying about keeping score.

“I got this person this piece of business; they have done nothing for me.”

Stop keeping score.

Get somebody a promotion. Make somebody look good. Get somebody a contact. Help somebody get a lead. Help close a sale. Make an introduction. Believe me, it’ll come back to you. And, don’t do it because it comes back to you. Do it because that’s what you’re out there for in the first place.

And the 10th tip is to have fun. If you build a network, you build a career. Don’t look to just build a paycheck. Don’t look to just build your next commission. Don’t look to just build your next bonus. Build a network.

Your network is comprised of:

  • existing clients
  • people in the associations that your prospecting customers belong to
  • people who listen to you speak or read the articles that you write
  • your colleagues
  • your competition, believe it or not
  • your mentors and your coaches

Don’t disregard those individuals inside of your organization that really oil the wheel to your success. Those customer service folks, the delivery folks, the install folks, the repair folks, the customer help desk folks, remember, they’re part of your network as well. They’re hearing things from customers that can turn into leads and referrals for you.

Look around and build your network. Cast your net out there, and you’ll build a career. When you do that, you’ll build a fortune.

Photo by dok 1 via Creative Commons 2.0.