One of the most unproductive time wasting traps that Realtors can, and do, fall into is attending networking events without a plan, without a clue to who they wish to meet, and without qualifying the event’s effectiveness. Networking is the lifeblood of a Realtor’s business but in many cases this important function of lead generation and business synergy is relegated to low level status. Here are 5 common errors to avoid in networking:
1. “ROE”: Return on Effort aka Is this event worth the effort and time expenditure vs the return? Qualify each event to answer this question. Very few Realtors, I have met at networking meetings, have researched the events they attend every week.
2. Homework: I have asked many Realtors at networking events this simple question “So who are you here to meet?” The answer 60% of the time is “I don’t know who is here yet.” If it’s a first meeting that is true but if the meet is an ongoing event this should never happen. Have a plan to meet specific impact business people!
Tip-Make a roster of the attendees you want to meet, research their web or blog sites, understand their businesses. Then seek these people out and begin your dialog.
3. Networking Is NOT: Just showing up to an event; talking non stop; standing off to the side with no intentions; trying to sell your product or service with every breath you take. How can you understand what to do when you don’t understand what you are doing?
4. First Principle in Networking: Stop selling yourself, your product, or your services. Before you can receive you must first give something of value to your “targeted” partner, something they will find valuable, and you must give it for free with no strings attached. It is that simple yet very FEW people get it.
5. Follow Through: Not follow up but follow through. Lip service is so often the order of the day. Why is it that when you work to meet people, they agree that you should continue an ongoing conversation, and you exchange information you do not make the initial contact? The excuses of time, forgetfulness, or any other reasons are unnecessary.
Tip-If you tell someone you are going to call your reputation is on the line. If someone contacts you and you do not respond your reputation is on the line. If you spent the time to attend an event, with the goal of meeting people for business, and you do not follow through on your collected contacts what does that say about you?