Networking is either something you’re excited about or terrified of, depending on whether you’re a typical extrovert or introvert.
But while some of us might tend to be a bit more self-conscious in environments where we don’t know anyone, when it comes to building relationships in the financial industry, it’s easy to work the room if you understand two key things:
1. Focus on quality over quantity
In our experience, just talking to one person can be better than talking to twenty, and this is because not everyone you talk to will be your target audience.
As financial consultants, everyone needs to manage their finances, but not everyone is able to willing to talk about it all of the time, so concentrating on developing genuine relationships is key to long-term success.
So instead of being intimidated by a big room of people, why not think the following instead: “Who is the one person I can talk to who would be able to help me grow my business?”.
2. Breaking the Ice is Easy, If You Know How
Everyone attending a networking event is open to speaking to people, which is why they attended the event in the first place! However, we all know that often the most difficult part about networking is just getting the conversation started.
If you’re attending an industry event, make the most of your time there by researching who else is attending beforehand, because the more you know about your peers and what they do, the easier it will be to start up a conversation with them.
If all else fails, don’t underestimate the power of a joke, compliment or just a genuine smile, eye contact and a simple “Hello!” to initiate a handshake.
3. Get someone to introduce you
Whether you’re a natural ice-breaker or a wall-flower, this tip can work for you. Someone invited you to the event; ask them to introduce you to people. This not only eases the introduction, but can add to your credibility as the introduction isn’t completely anonymous.
Networking is key to lead generation and relationship building. If you’re not using every event as an opportunity to make a new contact, you’re in the wrong game. If you’re not a natural networker, identify the approach that works for you, and practice it, on your colleagues, friends, even your wife.
Here at DFC Greater Gauteng, we’re keen to see advisors succeed. Follow our blog for more tips or drop us a line if you think we’re the place for you.