If You Network In Business, Get An Antelope
Now imagine you're a smarter lion. You wake up and think, "Gosh - I'm hungry." But this time you keep thinking. And you remember a certain valley where a herd of antelope came by at mid-day. So you hide over there. You get more hungry through the morning but you know it's going to be worth it.
Sure enough, mid-day, here comes the herd. You chase an antelope and get it. And there's too much to eat! So you snooze. When you wake up, dinner! Now you're full. Tomorrow you do the same thing.
If you network in business, don't hunt for chipmunks. Hunt for antelopes.
Here's what I mean. A chipmunk is a one-time sale. This is very hard to find by networking. If you talk to people about your product, you are boring and annoying. Think about how you feel when someone pushes their product on you. No one likes to be sold to. No one likes to be qualified or evaluated by salespeople and fit into their products. If you're doing this, do yourself a favor - do everyone a favor - and stop immediately.
Instead, look for antelopes: people who also sell to your market; people with big mental Rolodexes. Talk to these people about how you can help them. Describe YOUR mental Rolodex. Here's how it works. Let's say you're an accountant for small businesses. You meet an HR consultant to the same kinds of companies. You say, "I think we might be able to steer business to each other. Would you like to meet one on one over coffee to see what we can do?"
If you do this twice a week and find one such person at each meeting, that's eight in a month. My experience says about five will become strategic partners (antelopes) with you. You can feed each other on a regular basis.
Remember, it's starts by giving first. By being valuable first. By talking about how you can help them. If you've been hunting for customers - if you've been talking about your product - you have a treat in store for you the first time you look for antelopes instead. You'll get no resistance from people anymore because you're no longer pushing something on them. You'll be talking about how you can help them and that will make all the difference in the world. You'll be a breath of fresh air and you'll experience something often missing in sales: fun!
Get 15 In 3 Months
Do the above for three months. Find 15 antelopes. 15 strategic partners. Agree to look for good referrals for each other. Then, when out networking, look and listen for great leads for each other. Then arrange to meet every Monday or every Tuesday and make calls together. Personally introduce your strategic partners with the new referrals on the phone. This kind of introduction is rarely done and it's tremendously effective. People are incredibly impressed and usually agree to meet with you quickly.
What would happen if you did this for a whole year? You'd have 180 antelopes. 180 strategic partners looking for good referrals for you. You would become a hub of business transactions; a Grand Central Station of business exchanged. Your cup would runneth over. All because you stopped trying to push your product and instead started making friends by caring about them and being valuable first. Truly this makes all the difference in the world.