Networking + Marketing Series for Network Marketers; Growing Your Network Offline
Day 1: Series Introduction
Day 2: Your Modern Day Ribbon Cutting
Day 3: Amateurs vs Professionals
So far in our Networking + Marketing Series we’ve explored the importance of having a modern day ribbon cutting for your business with the contacts already in your existing network. As important as that strategy is though, on Day 3 I also explained the difference in amateurs vs professionals, and one of the most profitable skills you can learn to grow your business.
Today we’re going to dive in to the nitty gritty of that skill and highlight 5 specific ways you can grow your network of influence offline. As important as it is to build a strong social media presence and learn how to grow your network virtually, you will be missing out on a HUGE demographic if you choose to ignore the masses of people you can connect with offline as well. So let’s dive in:
If you read yesterday’s post you’ll remember I pointed out that you need to consistently be adding 3-5 new people to your list of contacts every day, 5 days per week. Want to create a large full-time or even 6- or 7-figure income with your business quickly? Then 5 people a day is your magic number. Do this consistently for a full calendar year and you will have successfully grown your network by over 1200 people. Do this consistently for a full calendar year and the phrase, “I don’t have enough people to talk to” will never leave your mouth again 🙂
As you read through the offline strategies shared in today’s post along with the online strategies I’ll be sharing later on in the series, I encourage you to choose 2-3 strategies to focus on and master. While it might be hard to consistently meet 5 new people a day using any one of these strategies, choosing a combination to implement into your weekly networking routine will make this easier than you could ever imagine. In fact, I might even dare to say you’ll have a hard time LIMITING yourself to just 5 contacts a day. How ’bout that?
- Be Intentionally Friendly: You might laugh, but when I was getting started as a network marketer this was hands down the HARDEST skill for me to learn. Cold calls? No problem. Calling 50 leads a day? Easy peasy. Being intentionally friendly and striking up conversations with random people while out and about? Yeah, forget about it. As an introvert by nature, I have a less than 0% natural inclination to strike up conversations with people I don’t know, so this was a hard one for me to get. Some people naturally have this skill… my husband, for example can strike up a conversation with anyone and make an instant friend. I have to mentally flip a switch in my brain to turn this skill on… but believe me, if this is something I was able to learn, it’s absolutely something you can learn as well!
Unless you’re a complete hermit, you come into contact with a fair amount of new people each week, just by going about your daily life. Now remember, this is NOT about finding people to pitch your business or product too… this is simply about being aware of the people around you, and setting out to make a new friend. Some of my favorite social situations in which to use this skill are with service professionals, on an airplane or while standing in line with a group of people.
Start by simply striking up a conversation. Please don’t be weird. I can’t stress this enough! Don’t be weird!! If you’re standing in line to by a hot dog at a ball game don’t ask the person behind you if they’ve ever heard of your new weight loss supplement. That would be weird. Making a comment about the length of the line, or that insane play before the end of the 1st quarter, or how hot or how cold the weather is… that’s not weird. That’s just normal conversation! The goal here is to have normal conversation 🙂
Now here’s first the rule of the game: The person who asks the most questions wins! People love talking about themselves, and by asking a few questions with a genuine interest of getting to know that person, they will leave the conversation feeling appreciated. You might be the nicest person they meet all day! If you’re at a restaurant or a department store and the person helping you is providing great service, this would be a great time to simply ask them how long they’ve been working there, and maybe something like, “Do you love it?”
If you’re visiting with someone outside their place of employment, asking “What do you do for a living?” is a great question as well.
Now here’s the 2nd rule: Always leave with their contact info. Ask for a business card or connect with them on social media before you leave. If you meet someone and walk away without a way to ever contact them again, it doesn’t count!
With this strategy you’ll instantly hit it off with some people right away. Others will simply grunt in reply to your questions or comments… don’t worry about these people, they aren’t the kind of people you want to work with anyway!
- Networking Groups/Events: This is a REALLY good one! Why? Because the other people at these events are there for the same reason you are… to meet people! The only rule here is the one who walks out with the most business cards wins! As for the conversation, the same rules apply here as with strategy #1… don’t be weird, and be intentional in asking the other person questions about themselves! The key with these events is to set up an appointment to talk further, AFTER the event. How? It’s simple. Say something like, “Hey, I’d love to get together for a cup of coffee, exchange some ideas and see how we could help each other with our businesses.” Then ask for their business card, and give them a call within 24-48 hours to set something up.
At your coffee appointment remember, the one who asks the most questions wins! You might have an opportunity to visit with them about your business or product, but don’t word vomit all over them! Make it a point to simply build the relationship, and keep them on your list to reach out to at a later time.
- Business Expos/Trade Shows: One of my favorite ways to build my network offline is through business expos and trade shows. Of course there is the obvious way… by securing a booth and having some kind of giveaway people can register for in exchange for providing their contact information. But it’s the less obvious way that’s actually my favorite, and that’s by going to the expo as a spectator, NOT a vendor!
The rule of the game here is the same as with strategy #2: The person who walks away with the most business cards wins! At an expo the people behind the booth are focused on meeting as many people as possible, so don’t monopolize their time by having a lengthy conversation. Approach the booth with interest, and introduce yourself to the vendor. Strike up a conversation (keep it about their business… what they do, how long they’ve been there, what their ideal client looks like, etc) and remember, don’t be weird! Ask for a business card, then make your way to the next booth and move on.
When you get home, go through your cards and make some notes about the person you met on the back. This may sound weird, but you could potentially walk away from this event with 50+ business cards, and believe me… you won’t remember any important information about the people you met if you don’t write it down! Then, within the next 24-48 hours, give the person a call using the same language outlined in strategy #2: “Hey________, this is YOUR NAME, you probably don’t remember me, but we met at the business expo a couple of days ago. I enjoyed visiting with you the other day, and since I’m also a local business owner in the area I’d love to get together for a cup of coffee, exchange some ideas and see how we could help each other with our businesses.”
It’s as simple as that!
- Business Cards: Have you ever been to a restaurant or doctors office and seen a wall or table full of business cards? Some local businesses allow other professionals to leave their business cards as a form of advertisement, and whenever I walk into a place like this I make it a point to pick up one of each card on display. The language is the same… although you haven’t met this person, you can still pick up the phone and give them a call. You might say something like this: “Hey ____, this is YOUR NAME. We haven’t met, but I got your business card at Dr. Smith’s office the other day, and I wanted to reach out and connect. I’m another business owner here in the area, and I’d love to sit down or a cup of coffee, exchange ideas and see how we might help each other with our businesses!”
The natural networkers and real go-getters will be super responsive to a phone call like this. Of course you’ll come across a few who won’t, but don’t worry about those! Focus on the ones who say yes, and add them to your list!
- Referrals: This is strategy is a networking gold mine if you know how to do it, and do it well. Start with your current customers and create a simple incentive program (free product and/or gift cards) for referrals. Make sure your customers are AWARE of this incentive, and be bold enough to ASK for the referral each time you connect with your customer. In my business, I reward my customers handsomely for passing referrals my way, because I know a referral from a good friend who loves the product is about as hot of a prospect as you can get!
Set a goal to get 3 referrals from each happy customer. If just 1 of those referrals chooses to place an order or join your business, you will have doubled the size of your organization! Referrals are a never-ending source for growing your network, and a strategy you should not ignore if you’re looking to build a big business!
I can’t think of a better way to wrap up this article than with a quote from Robert Kiyosaki: “The richest people in the world look for and build NETWORKS. Everyone else looks for work.”
Commit to growing your network every day, and you will never struggle with having enough people to talk to about your business!
If some of these strategies seem scary or a little too far outside your comfort zone, don’t worry… tomorrow I’m going to expand on some of the roadblocks and obstacles you might encounter as you begin to implement these strategies into your business, and share exactly what you can do to overcome them and push through to success.
If you’re not a subscriber, be sure to enter your name and email below to gain access to the exclusive Networking + Marketing Cheatsheet I’ll be giving away at the end of this series. This free gift will make it incredibly simple for you to implement ALL of the strategies and principles I’ve shared to help you grow your network and market your business.
Jordan Maylea Ramirez
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