Are you a realtor, loan officer or other personal producer searching for ways to get in front of more people and create deeper relationships? Are you tired of the same networking groups that are populated with multi-level marketers? You know there must be a better way. A better way to build relationships with other professionals and gain insights into what is and is not working for other practitioners in your market. The problem is not that the advice to get out and network with people is bad, it is how that advice is implemented.
Networking groups have been a tried and true part of the lead generation strategy of many successful salespeople over the years. But what if there was a better way? A more targeted and fruitful way that is also more satisfying and enjoyable. There are many existing networking groups but you have no control and little input into who joins, what the format of meetings are and what topics are discussed. Besides, how many times can you give the same talk about what you do and who your ideal client is? Unless this changes frequently others in the group are just as bored hearing it as you are telling it.
Instead, create your own networking group from your existing contacts. This gives you the ability to control who is in the group by specifically targeting select individuals from the industries you choose. You do not need a large group of people to be successful but you do need people that are involved, willing to share and committed to giving value.
Use this as an opportunity to dive deeper within your existing group of contacts. Truly effective networking involves expanding your contacts and going deeper and developing real relationships with your current contacts. This puts you at the center of the group and be seen as a leader who is bringing together an interesting group of people. This is an opportunity for you to shine and be a giving leader who is about giving first and receiving second.
Recently I started a mastermind group consisting of a dozen real estate agents who come together monthly to discuss a variety of issues. Topics have included tactical issues:
- lead generation, what is and is not working;
- social media, is Snapchat actually a way to grab attention for your business?;
- local and national realtor association membership benefits
and more strategic discussions about the economy, interest rates and the role of agents in the real estate buying and selling process. I am fascinated by the openness of all of the participants and their enthusiasm for the meetings and desire to share topics for upcoming meetings. My concern as I considered bringing together a group of competitors was that they would be reserved and unwilling to have meaningful discussions about the industry. Oh how wrong I was.
Make the effort to form your own group because you will gain far more attention as the creator of the group rather than a participant sitting in the back of the room. Spend time talking with possible participants and find out if they are interested, what will get them excited to be a member and then make the commitment and do it. This is a great way to break away from the old ways of networking and create your own group of willing and enthusiastic participants.