When you think about networking, what do you think about?
Do you think about those after hour networking events that basically are excuses to drink throughout the week? Or maybe you think about the early 6am BNI groups that tear you away from your bed sheets and that extra hour of sleep?
Well my friends, I'm here to share with you my MAIN networking strategy "secret" that changed my business forever.
Hint: It's neither of the above types.
What I'm about to share with you is something I've been doing for several years. This takes time and it's not a quick, easy fix to build your network or gain sales fast. I'm sharing with you a long term strategy that does work with time. Here is what I did...
So when I first started Grand Apps I would reach out to people (Mainly on LinkedIn) and ask them for a meeting. Back then I would go in for the hard pitch and try to close, rookie mistake. Over the years I learned to stop doing this and simply share with people what I was doing. I found that the right people at the right time will come around and do business with you. Luckily enough people were willing to meet with me during the early years and gave me the time.
So as the years progressed I would have numerous people reaching out to meet me. I knew right off the bat they wanted to pitch me. But I figured since people in my early days gave me the time of day, I would return the favor. I always believed in this giving back mentality.
But Isn't that a huge waste of time?
No it's not. I would try to schedule my "networking" meetings in mornings or evenings or weekends. However if people need to meet during the week I will do that. But I'm telling you so many people think this is a waste of time but I promise you it's not and I'm about to dive into a real case study.
A client reached out to me and said he met a young girl in marketing that is about to graduate and is looking for opportunity. At the time my company was not hiring, but since it was a good client of mine and I'm always open for this, I figured why not.
I met this young lady and she was just reaching out to people and networking to find opportunity. I applauded her on her ambitious approach, but sadly told her we were not hiring. We spent a good hour chatting about the industry, her goals and what she was looking for. She was in an internship and seeking getting a full time position in the marketing industry.
Weeks went by and she followed up with great news that a day after her meeting with me her internship offered her a full time gig. I congratulated her on this but there was more. Upon accepting her full position, she mentioned she told her boss about our meeting and he said he was very interested in mobile app development. We then set a meeting and it became an opportunity.
This strategy really works! This was a pretty good outcome because sometimes it takes longer. I've had people I met years ago come back around with opportunity.
You never know who you will meet, what will be the outcome or opportunity.
But you're probably telling yourself that "you can't do it" or you're "too shy". Well stop that self talk and go do it. It's simple as that. The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunity you'll have.
Take that coffee with an intern. Reach out to the CEO. Go meet.
BIGGEST TIP: You need to genuinely be interested in people and their stories. Don't make it about you. Don't sell your offerings. My goal out of every meeting is learn something new about that person. I love learning new things and hearing stories.
Go try it. Let me know how it works and email me when you close a big deal - email@example.com