Like anyone in sales, I hate to brag. No, really – but I can’t resist. I actually did a pretty good thing. And believe me: That doesn’t happen very often.
On Monday nights, I teach a public speaking class at Rutgers University. I’ve had this gig for seven years already. (Man, time flies.) Anyway, starting this semester, there was a changing of guard, during which some of the administrative muckety-mucks retired and were replaced with newer models. Via a raftload of emails, I learned the names of the replacements and some of the changes that would go along with all that.
Since I only knew the replacements by name, I thought I should get to campus a couple of hours early to meet them. It never hurts to put a face, a voice, and a smile to a name. So I made the rounds and shook some hands and kissed some babies. What a great use of time! Not only was it fun meeting new people, but the replacements already knew me by name, which turned out to be a good thing.
More importantly, there were several problems with the new students in my class that needed to be resolved quickly. It would have required several letters on my part to do this (not emails, but actual letters) – something I really didn’t want to tackle during the course of my road trip. But the new office staff – the very same ones that I met face-to-face – told me not to worry about it. “No worries. We’ll handle it.” No letters, no signatures, no fuss, no muss – internal networking at its best.
As financial advisors, it’s easy to view networking as a form of prospecting. And it is, but it can be so much more. Networking can and should be an internal thing, too.
When was the last time you made the rounds in your firm to get to know those in operations, compliance, marketing, and recruiting? If you did that, that case or that marketing piece might just make it through the mill a little faster. Who else do you need to meet and get to know in your firm?
There’s probably a very good reason why they’re top producers. Find out why that is. When you model top behaviors, it often leads to top results.
Who are the best managers, trainers, and advisors who can help you brush up on the products and services that your firm offers? Learning more always leads to more – more referrals, more confidence, and more offerings to better serve your clients.
Networking and referral experts
Who in your firm embraces networking as their primary marketing activity? Who generates a ton of client referrals? You might want to sit next to this advisor at the next dance.
Who has the best closing ratio in the firm? Is their style consistent with yours? Find the advisors or managers in your office who have an effective approach that you like and can model. Remember: Always be a first-rate version of yourself – not a second-rate version of someone else.
Are there advisors at your firm that make phone work or “call nights” look easy? Are they effective at setting appointments? Are you? Maybe it’s time to give them a call.
The big guns
No doubt there are specialists nearby who handle very large cases, complex investments, and high-level financial planning who can help you through the trenches when needed. It’s a good idea to get the big guns on your side before you need them.
I’m sure there are other pros right under your nose who can help you out, but you get the idea. Making the rounds may cost you some time, an occasional cup of coffee, and maybe splitting a case or two, but these are some of the best investments you can make.
Just make sure all the advice, insight, and recommendations you get go both ways. The best relationships always do.
Michael Goldberg is a speaker, author, consultant and the founder of Building Blocks Consulting.For more information or to subscribe to Michael’s free online newsletter and blog The Building Blocks to Success please visit www.NetworkingForProducers.com or www.TheBuildingBlockstoSuccess.com.