Networking is an important component to my business development and the success of my practice. To be more specific, I focus on intentional networking efforts, like building strategic partners. I have learned over the years that investments in key relationships of the most productive form of networking.
Identify mutually beneficial relationship opportunities. First, identify your ideal client. The key word there is ideal. Once you know who that ideal client is, think about who else is servicing that ideal client and build relationships with them. For me, I work with business owners, intimately looking at their financials and other crucial and confidential information. I have to build relationships with others that are very trusted sources to the business owner as well. I have found some of my key strategic partners to be accountants, wealth managers, attorneys, and bankers. These relationships are invaluable to my practice, and I am able to help my clients by making appropriate introductions to other trusted advisors that I know well.
Spend time making deposits into your key relationships. One of the networking efforts that I highly recommend is to build an advisory board among your strategic partners. Set reoccurring meetings, as a group, to see and help each other often. It is important for us to do our homework, prior to the meeting, so that we can let each other know exactly what we need. For example, one person may ask for an introduction to a certain company or contact, while another person has an idea to run by the group and get feedback. The time spent with this group of people is a valuable monthly practice for my business.
Give before you get. Become a great, go-to resource for others. Helping others to achieve their dreams and solve their problems not only feels good, it is good business. Those that you are able to help will naturally want to help you with your objectives.
Leverage technology to stay in touch. I have learned to leverage technology to stay in touch with all of my key contacts. Email newsletters, blogs, and social media platforms like LinkedIn have been of great assistance in building relationships. We all want to be “top of mind” and “best of breed”. Technology allows us to convey this as opposed to meeting with every potential great networking relationship on a one-to-one basis.
My best advice with networking is to keep it intentional and strategic. We can waste a lot of time networking if it is not done with a purpose. If I can be of help to you in building your network, I am happy to share my advice.