Networking Question

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Feb 15, 2010 8:02 pm

As part of your prospecting efforts you attend a couple of networking events each month. A Chamber meeting, a business card exchange, whatever....

You meet people and usually if it looks like there is a fit, its "lets get together, and learn about each others busiensses, and see if there are ways we can help each other" or something to that effect.
The next week, you meet for a cup of coffee.
My experience is that more often than not, this turns into nothing. You can't provide referrals to a cpa or real estate broker every month. Especially if you want to satisfy 3 or 4 of them,.
My question...what do you do to make sure this meeting doesnt turn into a dud? How do you keep in front of this person, provide value, how do you take the relationship to the next level, and avoid it turning into just another networking breakfast. How do you do this without sounding like every other bullsh*t guy they meet.
Feb 15, 2010 8:05 pm

You're both after referrals.  Most likely you'll have to give before you get.  Try doing something jointly like a workshop.  They invite their clients and you invite yours...  think Roth Conversion.

Feb 15, 2010 8:15 pm

Try to refer them to another referral source.  This is one of the biggest things I have learned through BNI.  I know a LOT of business owners around my area.  They aren't necessarily clients, nor would I want them to be.  However, I try very hard to connect them with other referral sources that could be beneficial to them.  Essentially, play "matchmaker".  People remember this.  So everytime you meet with another professional or business owner, ask them what type of person they would like to be introduced to or referred to.  Don't just think about referring your own clients.  Eventually you run out of clients to refer anyway.