Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If you don't have a strong network you're probably working too hard

Dear Friends,

What introduces you to knowledgeable, worthwhile allies that can help you navigate the challenges of your business?

Your network!

Networking is one of the most powerful strategies for building referrals. It simply means interacting with others for a mutual assistance or support.

This is not a one way street. The operative word is "mutual."

If you see it as a marketing strategy then you may interpret it as manipulative or a means to exploit others.

On the contrary, when it's done with integrity and right, it creates an enormous pool of resources, talents and experience to draw upon for EVERYONE.

The best networkers are socially involved, people oriented and active members of a professional or community group.

Today I'll share with you some of the benefits you'll gain from networking and a few simple, common sense, practical practices as well as some networking affiliations that you may carefully consider to further engage you in your networking opportunities.

First the benefits:

1. Increase referral opportunities
2. Reciprocity: helping others while they help you
3. More resources at your disposal
4. Opportunities to solve problems for others
5. Increased visibility
6. More friends and fun in the business

Effective networking isn't a 9-5 enterprise. It isn't something you do at certain times and turn off and on like a light switch.

If you regulate your people orientation on and off your ability to benefit from your network will be severely compromised.

The best networkers make it a willing and enjoyable part of their life.

Yes it's work, but like all work sometimes it's effortless and other times it may be hard.

It's not something you's something you are.

So whether you're shopping, at the ball field, in church, at a neighbors BBQ, attending your spouse's Holiday party, or just at the gym, the opportunities to participate in your network is your life.

Get in touch, stay in touch, with your referral and your referral network. People who know you, like you, and trust you will refer you to their friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers if they know what you do and how you help your clients.

Here are few common practices you can use by email or phone:
Tax reminders
Market/mortgage updates
Strategic alliances introductions
Links to web sites that clients would be interested in
Home closing anniversary cards
Birthday cards
Alliance/preferred vendors lists..."Someone you need to know"
Miscellaneous tax information
Mortgage news and legal notices
Ask for referral opportunities
Mention new programs that will benefit them
FYI Interest rate updates calls to select clients
"I found something of interest. I thought you might like it; I saw this and thought of you"
Investment tips to buy a second home
Annual mortgage review
Thank you for your referral
Invite to lunch, coffee or workshop event
Holiday, anniversary, graduation cards and notes
Asking for help or an opinion on something that you think they can solve for you
Follow-up with vendor preferred alliance recommendations
New office location. "We moved" come visit our new office
Call "just to say hello, how are you?"
Call "is there anything I can do to help you with..."

It is possible to spend a lot of money on networking, so consider your affiliations carefully.

Here's a few to think about.

Professional groups and associations
Industry special project groups
Non-profit organizations
Political parties
Recreation groups
Civic organizations
Cultural activities
Volunteer work
Educational institutions
Chamber of Commerce
Sports groups
College/university courses
Alumni organizations
Girl/Boy Scouts
Special community events
Local gym
Chat rooms (on the web)
Company groups and special events
Charity work

Just a little caveat:

If you're going to join charity or volunteer groups take on positions of responsibility and become to the "go to" person within that group.

Members will come to you for advice, opinions, help and referrals.

What is the activity that precedes an effective referral based business?


Thanks for spending 3 minutes with me.....
The best is yet to be!

On Your Team.
Jeffrey Stanton
Your Trusted Advisor For Life


One of the fastest ways to build a successful referral based business is by training. Now, with me, I like to invest significant time immersing myself in training, while some people prefer to take it in bite-size chunks. Whatever your preference is, now is the best time to contact me.

If you have found this tip useful, please share it with any friends, family, colleagues and associates who you think will be interested. Feel free to print it (with credit and subscription information) and continue to enjoy the tips. I am always grateful for any comments, criticisms or other feedback that you may have. Please send them to

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