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Making Your Net Work Part 2
Guest articles > Making Your Net Work Part 2
by: Daniel Milstein
In the sales profession, networking is extremely important to gain referrals and widen your customer base. The ideal network is a group of prime professional and personal contacts who will enthusiastically recommend your services to others. A network database should be highly organized, with the latest details of the customer's last purchase, future plans, job information and so on.
Many salespeople rely on the well-known 250 formula, which was based on the original theory that about 250 people attend most weddings and funerals and therefore that most of us know approximately 250 people who each represent a source of business. It's hard to argue with the basic math, although the magic number might be closer to 125 or 200 depending on the popularity of the brides and grooms you know.
Salespeople typically create a network list of everyone they have ever known, without being overly concerned whether the prospects are able to afford major purchases. When I was starting out, I didn't have the connections that many of the better-established loan officers did. I figured the more people I talked to, the larger my network would grow. I learned an essential ingredient for creating an effective network is a master list that can be broken into subgroups, such as primary partners, secondary influencers and others. While I lacked the experience of many more seasoned loan originators in my market, I did recognize a fact that most of them hadn't yet accepted: it really is better to give than to receive, at least until you have developed strong relationships with your network partners. It is about providing something of value.
CARDS & DOUGHNUTS
When I first got into the mortgage business I wanted to develop referral sources. I was told by experienced mortgage officers to build relationships with real estate agents. What I figured out was that in most cases, experience meant time in the business and not necessarily production. Being new to the business, I asked how to proceed. I was told to take a box of doughnuts or bagels to the office and drop them off with business cards. It did not take long to figure out that they were eating the treats and tossing the cards, as I wasn't receiving any calls. So I came up with an idea to call and find out when they were holding their weekly or monthly meeting. I asked if I could come by and bring some bagels or doughnuts and introduce myself. At least half the time I was welcomed. So when I came to the meetings I would put an empty doughnut box on the table and start my speech. Good morning folks. What I have today is information to help grow your business, I explained. At this time, I would open the box and pass it around. At first I'm sure there was some disappointment, but as soon as I gave them some great information they were hooked. At the end of the meeting I would close with. I hope the information was beneficial and I do have doughnuts for you now. This usually received a good laugh and helped to build strong relationships. It just shows that there are different ways to start your network. -- Michael Hyman, Gold Star
Each salesperson will have a different way to network themselves. It is important that you find the best way to diversify yourself and begin to establish your network database.
Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.
Contributor: Daniel Milstein
Published here on: 14-Jul-13