Networking is one of the best ways to grow revenue for your business or help advance your career. There are many ways to network like for example by attending events, social media, being apart of organizations, and visiting trade shows. But the most effective approach is to produce genuine connections through a one-on-one meeting. It not only establishes trust and the opportunity to exchange valuable business ideas but it gives you a more personable chance to help others on their journey with the act of paying it forward.
Preparing yourself with this objective in mind for your discussion will leave a deep impression and help grow a reliable network. When it comes to the pay it forward networking approach, nobody does it better than the pioneer, Morrie Elstien. Morrie is responsible for new business development for Cendrowski Corporate Advisors, cca-advisors.com, and his focus toward this method of networking through the years has enabled him to gain over 9200 reliable connections. It has also indirectly generated millions of revenue dollars for the company. Morrie believes that a network is only as useful as the effort that you put into it to help others.” He also feels by focusing your time on simply asking the question, “how can I help you with introductions?” is the key to paying it forward.
Every salesperson is faced with the perplexity if their sales style is either a farmer or that of a hunter. Farmers, of course, being the type to grow connections organically that lead to business opportunities, they believe that nobody likes to be “sold” to. Growing a reliable network organically will take a special discipline that flexes the use of proactive, sincere introductions and meeting with business connections often to establish trust. Another effective Chicago networker that attests to the brilliance of these principles who also has also increased business success is Eric Lazar, Partner & Lead Evangelist of SpeedPro Chicago, speedprochicagoloop.com. He declares, “it’s necessary to follow these simple rules of the road when applying the pay it forward networking approach:”
Respond to email introductions promptly
Be professional when you meet
Listen and educate; don’t sell!
Believe in the six degrees of separation
Be kind in return by sharing your network
Even if you are not able to dish out introductions regularly to your connections, the people you meet can always use assistance in other areas of business, you just need to ask the right open-ended questions to discover their challenges. You can lend a helpful hand in other areas of business difficulties like for instance referring a valuable business resource, strategic partner, promoting their business, a website to review, book recommendation, or an upcoming event tip. We have all been faced with some sort of adversity at different points in our careers, and we can all use help from time-to-time to keep us straight and narrow. Bernie Deir, the President of Midwest Business Consulting mbconsultingco.com, says, “Don’t let your next sale be your sole focus – instead, look at networking as an investment; just keep planting seeds and you’ll be surprised by what will grow.” Bernie is another successful Chicagoland networker who has been focused on the pay it forward networking approach for many years.
Striving to help others first along the way will build thoughtful momentum toward your network endeavors and form lasting relationships. A focus on this path not only will put kindness into the universe, but you will also feel good about doing it. After all, it’s about the journey and not the destination. Your network will quickly become plentiful, powerful and something to be proud of that is rooted in the philosophy that 'Givers Gain'.