Barbara Scribner introduced Mike Mirau, who strives to empower and inspire business leaders to achieve the greatness that lies within themselves and their organizations and to ultimately fulfill their purpose with passion and excellence! He works with large corporations and small business, both nationally and internationally.
Mike Mirau asked, “What is Networking?” It is part of your overall marketing strategy, based on the question “How can I help?” and not “What can I get?” Mike defines networking as the art of building relationships for the purpose of doing business or gaining introduction to potential clients or strategic partners.
Successful networking is when you (1) are getting a sufficient number of warm introductions (referrals) to the people who are your target prospects; (2) develop strategic relationships (synergies) with 4-5 key partners who can introduce you to their client base; (3) develop relationships with people you trust, so that you can refer to your clients; (4) are giving more referrals than you receive (givers gain).
The 7 Keys to Successful Networking
Recognize networking is a lifestyle not a breakfast.
Be a connector. Look for opportunities to add value to every relationship! (Check out Never Eat Alone by Ferrazzi: every relationship matters!) Be the go-to person for solutions. Raise your networking antennae – listen when people are talking!
Be clear about your “who”.
Be able to clearly articulate your core customer: a real person! It can be broad or narrow. Identify their top 3 wants or needs that you can provide and how they make their buying decisions.
It’s all about them and not about you.
Don’t Pitch! The relationship matters. Ask good, intelligent questions (be prepared and learn about them). The quality of your questions establishes your credibility! Listen with both ears; take notes.
Keep your commitments.
Keeping your commitments demonstrates your integrity. Integrity is the secret weapon in business today because it is so rare and so hard to find! Show up! If you don’t show up, you destroy your credibility! Show up to the meetings also; you’ve got to be here to establish your credibility as a networker! Follow up! Just do what you say you will do. If for some reason you can’t, let them know and manage the expectations. We want to be on the plus side of the conversation, not the negative side!
If you give a referral, set up the connection. Take responsibility to make sure everyone is on the same page. Follow up on both sides of the equation. If given a referral and the referral does not respond, let the person who gave the referral know.
Know your numbers and measure your results.
Statistics show: things that get measured improve! Know what you want. What are your goals? Track referrals given, referrals received, number of one-on-one’s, results from referrals, ROI – cost and time. If you are not getting the value out of your networking efforts, ask yourself “What am I not doing that is keeping this from happening?” If people complain that they are not getting anything out of the group, Mike asks: how many referrals have you given? how many one-on-one’s have you done? have you given a presentation? have you talked to people who are potentially synergy partners? You’ve got to own this! Mike has been in the DEA about 9 years and has personally transacted over half a million dollars in business just out of this group! That is absolutely worth it!
Find the synergies and leverage them.
There are two types of people in the world: those who get it and those who don’t. Only play with those who get it! Don’t waste time with those who don’t get it. There are potential synergy partners who don’t get it and aren’t open to understanding that we can do better growing together; those are the takers! Fifty percent of your new business should come from existing customers. Twenty-five percent should come from marketing efforts, like networking. The remaining twenty-five percent of your business should come from strategic relationships. Protect your reputation! Find the people who are doing business with the people you want to do business with. Invest in the relationships – work together to serve each other’s clients!