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Want to build your fortune? Build your network first

Let’s wrap up our discussion of networking by covering the final three rules of how to do it right.

The eighth rule of successful networking has to do with following up. I remember this one like a little dog. It’s like a pup. It’s Professionalism, Uniqueness and Promptness.

Professionalism is a combination of your unique, prompt follow up. Whether it’s acknowledging the initial contact with a quick email or a handwritten note or a telephone call, whatever it may be, if you’re prompt and professional with it, you’ll blow them away. You’re opening doors down the road.

And, whether it’s email, a handwritten note, a letter, an article, a phone call, a referral, or a contact that you want to introduce them to, make sure you do it promptly. Make sure you do it professionally, and make sure you do it in a unique way, so that you stand out in the mind of your prospect. Make an impact, because you are one of the very few who did what you said you were going to do.

Make sure your follow up is there. Handwritten notes are unique. If there’s a guy carrying around a camera, taking pictures at these events, get a picture taken with your prospect and load it up into Shutterfly, and make a notecard out of the picture with you and them, and then send that picture over. Say, “It was great meeting you, looking forward to meeting you again.” Share a couple of things in that note about the conversational points that you had.

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How to work a networking event

If you’re going to be an effective networker, you need a networking toolbox.

What’s in this toolbox? Business cards that stand out from that of the competition. Maybe some handwritten notes that you’re going to use to stay in touch with those people afterwards. Some giveaways,  different things that you’re going to hand out.

I’ve seen people hand out business cards that say: “The top five telephone numbers you need to know.” And the first name on the card is the President of the United States, the White House, and then it’s got the number of the White House.

The second one is the Queen of England in Buckingham Palace and the phone number. And then, the third one is someone else, and the fourth one is, maybe, Tiger Woods, golf professional, and another number there. And the fifth one is your name and your telephone number on it, and then there’s a little asterisk, and it says, “Please note, only one of the above will return your call.”

And people think, “Oh, what a cute card.” I’ve sees sales people take it to another level with a simple tool like that. Because some of the people you hand that card to are going to be impressed by it. When they are, make a note of it. And then, send them a box of a hundred of them, with their name on the bottom of it as the only one that will return their call.

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Are you networking? Or not-working?

Do you go out there and work trade shows and different events that your customers attend?

When you’re out there, how do you make sure that you’re networking and not “not working?”

“Not-working” is self-explanatory.

But here’s what it looks like: You’re wandering aimlessly. Handing out some cards. Standing over by the bar with your buddies. Having a drink, talking to people you already know. Mingling with current clients.

This isn’t networking. It is not working.

Now, you might say, “Oh, well, I’m dealing with my clients. I’m dealing with my customers.” Well, great then. Don’t call it networking though, that’s relationship development.

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