Number two, and people never really think about this, is all about looking for a place where your ideal referral sources are gathered in one place, again by somebody else, in large numbers and where you can access them inexpensively. Think about who your referral sources are. Perhaps there’s somebody in your life right now, a person or an industry, that gives you lots of referrals. Most likely, you are both targeting the same type of person, but you’re not competing. There’s a certain synergy between the two of you but there’s no overlap. So again, network where your referral sources gather. This is the cash cow of networking opportunities.
The third type of networking involves partnering with a strategic alliance or a JV (joint venture partner.) There are people out there right now who hold that list of your ideal clients. Perhaps it’s one person who has thousands and thousands of your ideal clients on their list or somebody that has a resource for you or someone you’d like to write a book with them. Perhaps you want to speak on their stage or have them speak on your stage. This is where you have to get much more strategic in terms of networking and thinking about where potential strategic alliances already hang out or where you can go and meet them face to face.
Teaming up with just the right partner oftentimes becomes that small hinge that opens up that big door of opportunity. If you could meet them and do something with them over time it would matter greatly to your business. You might be able to meet them at a particular conference you know they’re speaking at or even get on a plane. Many times I have gotten in contact with someone who would be a mutually ideal strategic alliance and I’ve expressed how serious I was about taking them out to lunch.
Even if they lived all the way across the country I’d say, “You know what? Why don’t we pick a date and I will hop a flight, come out to meet you and we’ll have lunch and then I’ll fly back.” Every time that I’ve done that the person has said, “Oh, no, no, you don’t have to do that. Let’s just get on the phone or let’s Skype and talk.” That intention and being willing to follow through really separates you from everybody else.
Your The Leveraged Business Assignment
I want you to write these three different types of networking opportunities down and start filling out where you think that you could be reaching out to your ideal clients in large numbers and inexpensively. How about your referral sources? Make a list. Perhaps it’s a short list. Perhaps it’s a long list of people you would like to do a strategic alliance with. So get cracking!
Oh, and one more important point to note. People often ask me, “How often should I be networking?”
That’s like asking your dentist, “Which teeth should I floss?” The answer usually is, “Well, only those you want to keep.” It’s the same with networking. How often should you do it? Well, it depends. Do you want a lot of clients? Do you want to make more money? Do you want to multiply your business? Be networking consistently and you will have all of those things because sometimes the power is in the people you hang out with.