In this article you will discover 7 tips for building a network from scratch. In today’s day and age your network will determine your net worth. If you’re the smartest and wealthiest individual in your circle, then you need to find a new circle. It’s always best to network with those smarter than you. This will help you to level up. But how exactly do you go about building a network from scratch?
Tips for Building a Network from Scratch
- Join a MeetUp Group – MeetUp Groups are an excellent way to position yourself in front of those that you don’t know. Find a MeetUp group that is in the industry that is in your industry of choice and make it a point to attend their events.
- Attend Networking Events from Eventbrite – Eventbrite has listings of local networking events that could attend. Pick those that you feel will have the biggest impact.
- Host Your Own MeetUp Group – Hosting your own group is a great way to expand into a new market. Before you set up your MeetUp group, schedule an event. This way you can take advantage of all the marketing you will receive from the organization as they announce to others that your group has started.
- Promote Your MeetUp Group event in other networking groups
- Create Your Top 100 List – This will be a list of the top 100 people you would like to meet.
- Research Where Your Top 100 Networks – Once you discover where they network, you can network in the same places.
- Join Social Media Groups Targeted to Your Industry – Facebook groups are an excellent way to connect with other like-minded individuals.
- Ask for referrals – You probably already knows someone, who knows someone that can use your product or services. So why not just ask them for a referral. This is a technique that is often overlooked.
If you do any of the above you should have no problem building a network from scratch. You should also check out the book, Network to Increase Your Net Worth.
How to Network at Events
First, you should bring lots of business cards and collateral material to your networking events. Hand them out sparingly. Don’t give them to everyone. At big networking events you will not have the opportunity to talk to everyone, which is why you want to be particular regarding who you give your business cards to. Exchange business cards with those that can help you advance your agenda. This is how you network with a purpose.
How to Follow Up After Networking Events
One of the best things that you can do after a networking event is have someone enter your business cards into some type of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. This could be something as simple a logging them into a generic email marketing campaign for Networking Events. This campaign would launch a sequence of emails that could help you schedule an appointment or just something that simply says “It’s Nice to Meet You” campaign.
The next best thing that you can do after a networking event is connect with your new contacts on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great way to keep up with the folks that you meet at events. You can peruse the profiles of individuals to find out a little bit more about the people you met at the networking events. LinkedIn can help you to understand whether or not you have reached the right person, or it can determine if that person is connected to someone that you’ve always wanted to meet.
If you have found a really hot lead at a networking event, then you will want to follow-up with a phone call. Sometimes you run meet people that are a good fit for you to do business with. These are your ideal customers or clients and it’s important for you to follow-up in a high touch manner. An email or LinkedIn connection is not enough. With these folks you will want to pick up the phone and call them. Invite them to meet for coffee or to schedule an exploratory call to find out if they’re the right fit.
How to Close Clients from Networking Events
The best way to close clients or customers from networking events is by meeting up for coffee or hosting an introductory call. This will allow your prospective client to learn more about you and vice versa. People like to do business with those that they know, like and trust. It is important for you to take advantage of every opportunity for your prospect to get to know you, like you and trust you. An exploratory session either over the phone or in person is an excellent way to make it happen.
Then use the closing script which can go something like this:
Well John, based on this conversation, you are the perfect person who could use my services/product. Would you agree that you could use [Whatever your service/product is] at this time? [If they say yes] Excellent. Is there anything that would stop you today from [using my product/service and changing your life…also list the benefits they would receive]. Great John. My fees are $XXX.XX. Would you like to pay cash or use a card and we can get started right away because we want to make sure that you [list the benefits again] today?
There is of course more that you can say when closing your clients and you will definitely want to learn how to overcome objections. You should check out the book 25 Toughest Sales Objections and How to Overcome Them.
I hope this article helps you as you get on your journey to building your network.