Your Network Creates your Net Worth!

Jeremy Bhimji
Author, Speaker, Trainer, Coach
Networking

Dec 22,2016

This article is for all business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, and sales people. People usually spend most their time developing a product, service, or something else to bring to consumers, but I always see people who are struggling seem to neglect one very important part of their business…their relationships!

The saying “Your Network equals your net worth” is one of my favorites because it is so true. At the end of the day, no matter what industry or sector of the market you are in, if you want to be successful you better be in the PEOPLE business.

I recently relocated to the Chicago area to continue to expand my business, and I didn’t know a single person who lived here when I moved here. So, I had to build a new network from scratch. I’m going to write a book about this exact topic in the next few months, but for now here are a few of the things I did to meet people and cultivate relationships.

*Network on Purpose- Join networking groups, go to meetup lunches, look for your local chamber of commerce, search out a BNI group, head to afterhours mixers. Always put yourself in a position to meet new people and go for networking, not necessarily trying to sell them on your product or service. You will have plenty of time to do that with the next step. Also…NEVER NEVER NEVER go through a drive through for any reason. It doesn’t matter if you are going to Starbucks, the bank, or dry cleaner. All those places are potential meeting places. Remember you are networking on purpose, so get out of the car and see who is inside. I met one of my best electric clients while we were waiting in line to get our coffee at Dunkin Donuts and he commented the watch I was wearing that day.

*Follow up- Most people don’t follow up at all and 90% of sales happen after exposure five. Follow up like a professional and never leave one appointment or phone call without setting up the next one. It will help you stay relevant in people’s heads. I usually alternate how I follow up with people. I’ll start with a call, and then switch to email the next time if I don’t get a response. Some people prefer email to phone calls and vice versa.

*Be Memorable-Find a way to stick out with the people you are meeting. Whether that be wearing a unique piece of clothing, going out of your way to compliment something they have on, finding a common interest that you can talk about. If the people you are networking with remember you, they are going to be much easier to connect with when you follow up.

*Never eat lunch alone- Some of the best connections I have made in life have been over lunch. If you really want to meet with someone to talk business, the allure of free food is usually enough to get them to come out and meet you. Lunch meetings are great because it gives you plenty of time to build a rapport before you ever even talk business.

There are obviously a bunch more things you can do to grow your network, but I just wanted to give you a few nuggets that have worked for me along my journey. I challenge anyone reading this to call up someone they are trying to prospect and offer to buy them lunch sometime after the new year. That is my Christmas gift to you =)

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