I’ve been noticing a lot of discussion about networking lately. Perhaps it’s due to the fact I’m immersed currently in the Keith Ferrazzi national best seller, Never Eat Alone. Or, it could be simply my career choice. Maybe it’s the result of my effort to remain imbued by the shared wisdom of industry coaches such as Brian Buffini, Walt Frey, or Matthew Ferry. In any event, with a transitional market, working your network has never been so important.
The question, then, is how to do it effectively, authentically, and genuinely while reaping the rewards of your efforts? There are as many schools of thought on networking as there are books and speaking engagements promoted by industry pundits. Adopting the approach best suited to your tastes and talents requires cherry picking, or perhaps total immersion.
Brian Buffini has a terrific program, “100 Days to Greatness,” developed specifically for agents and mortgage brokers. Your success is assured with consistent contact database management including personal notes and “drop-by’s,” monthly delivery of “items of value,” client appreciation events, etc. And with every conversation you are invited to remind and/or educate your client that yours is a referral-based business; that they keep you in mind as they discuss real estate with their friends and families.
Walt Frey energetically promotes the benefits of networking in pursuing “Ninja Selling,” a business and networking model fashioned after the success of the country’s most productive per agent real estate brokerage, The Group, in Ft. Collins, CO. In conversation with clients, you are encouraged to be authentic and earnest, posing questions of genuine interest regarding personal developments in their lives, special events, and the like; reality being that your interest and continuing connection to them will yield reciprocity on your clients’ part, no direct request for referrals necessary.
Matthew Ferry, founder of The Academy of Influence and son of famed real estate coach and lecturer Mike Ferry, adopts a slightly different tack as part of his multi-step program to millionaire success, Mental Journey to Millions. One fundamental philosophy here, “Playing the Contribution Game,” is that in networking with your sphere of influence and beyond, you set aside your personal agenda, focus on the goals, dreams, and aspirations of the person/s with whom you are interacting, and consider how you may work with them to achieve their goals. (I should note here that, although many who participate in Mr. Ferry’s seminars are real estate professionals, “Mental Journey to Millions” is geared towards a broader audience). As you offer your assistance without condition and while embracing absolute acceptance of all people in all situations, the results will lead naturally to their offering to aid you in achieving your own goals.
Certainly, there is far more substance to all of these philosophies than I can outline here and with much synergy existing between them. To do proper justice, I encourage you to research further. Having participated in aspects of each coaching program, I have fashioned what I learned into a business and networking approach best suited to my style and personality. I believe the world is made better when we give unconditionally, thus I contribute in any way possibly can. I do ask for referrals, both directly and indirectly, and certainly stay in touch with my clients.
Great teachers, coaches, and mentors abound as do the systems they promote. Take time to find those which work best for you. To paraphrase Mr. Ferry, the more advocates, supporters, believers, and followers you have, the more likely you and your business are to thrive.