Do you have a strong network? Most of our best clients come as introductions from others, so perhaps what we need are more of the “others” to help us. A renewed focus on connecting and building a strong network may be just what we need to build a growing pipeline of new business.
Connecting with others, however, is often dismissed or not top of mind. We have a tendency to brush off the importance of our ability to connect and create relationships as a key contributor and explanation for business success.
For the book, “The Connectors,” I interviewed hundreds of highly successful professionals to find out the tactics of how they create better business relationships and the important characteristics they possess. When we break down the characteristics that extraordinary business people possess, many of them are what we may consider to be some of the obvious enviable traits: persistence, drive, hard work, intelligence, ability to generate new ideas, affinity for change, and a “never take no for an answer” mindset. However, the key characteristic that stands above the others in importance is an individual’s particular ability to connect with others and form many meaningful business relationships. Formal or informal networking was found to be a critical tactic in forming more powerful business relationships.
In general, networking to increase sales quickly can often be a frustrating undertaking. Advisors will join their local chamber of commerce or a business networking group and are initially excited about the prospects. But the unfortunate reality is that it often doesn’t live up to expectations, so we quit and look for another way to drive sales to our business. But, there are principles of networking that do work and that are often contrary to what we may believe about networking.