It never ceases to amaze me how many people turn up to networking events to see what happens rather than having a clear objective about what they want to achieve from it. After all if you have taken the time to attend a network meeting surely you want to get a maximum return on time invested? In this article I want to explain how you can Turbo Charge the results you get when networking.
In November, I was the guest speaker at the Berkshire Property Meet hosted by Sylvia and Juswant Rai. As this was my third time speaking there, I shared a brand new presentation on Networking and Joint Venture Mastery.
When Sylvia asked the 250 strong audience who had been to a network meeting before most people put their hands up. When she asked who knew specifically what they were looking for, only a handful of people put their hands up. Now maybe some people were new to networking and this was their first event. Maybe some had just come to listen to the speakers. But there were lots of people there who regularly go to networking events but fail to make the most of the opportunity whilst they are there.
Some of the main reasons for attending networking events are to expand your personal contacts, help other people and find resources you are looking for! You may have heard the expression. “The bigger your network the bigger you net worth” The more people you connect with at a networking meeting the more chance you have of finding what you need. It is not just about how many cards you hand out! You need to make sure you connect with people and have a conversation to see how you can help each other.
If you are really clear on what you want and what you are looking for you will have a much higher chance of finding it. For example if you are looking for a joint venture partner for a particular project, be very clear what you require and also what you can offer the potential JV partner. No one is going to want to do a JV with you if they don’t know what you can bring to the table.
Also a great question to ask when networking is “Who do you know who .......?” This is much better than just asking the person direct if they can help you. Instead you want to get them to think about people in their personal network as well as themselves.
One of the main challenges with networking events is that no matter how good you are at networking you will never be able to connect with everyone, that is unless you Turbo Charge your networking!
The very best way to do this is to get some STAGE TIME. Instead of you trying to get to know everyone at the meeting it is a far better use of your time to get all of them to know you. Juswant admitted that this was one of the reasons they started the Berkshire Property Meet.
There are two ways you can get STAGE TIME to Turbo Charge your networking.
The most obvious way is to become a speaker at networking events. This means that everyone gets to know you because you are the person standing at the front of the room. During your talk you can explain exactly what you are looking for and get interested people to approach you after your talk. At the Berkshire Property Meet I took the opportunity to talk about a number of things that I am looking for and asked people to fill in an interest form. Now my team are busy following up all of the 180 people or so who expressed an interest in at least one of the things I mentioned from the front of the room. There is no way I would have been able to connect with that many people if I had just attended the event.
If the idea of standing up in front of a room of strangers and giving a talk absolutely terrifies you, then you are not alone. Most people fear public speaking. It’s not actually as hard as you may think and it is a very good skill to develop. In fact I am thinking of running some speaker skills training in the New Year as people keep on asking me if I can help them.
The other way to get some STAGE TIME is to get involved with running a networking event. You could either be the host of the event or one the team who helps to organise it. Either way, all of the people who come to the networking event will get to know you. If you don’t have a networking event close to where you live, then why not set one up? This can be a lot of work but when done properly the results can make it well worthwhile.
In 2011 we are expanding the property investors network further around the UK. If you would like to get involved as a host or part of the events team then please visit this webpage and complete your details. www.propertyinvestorsnetwork.co.uk/pinjv
We are often looking for new speakers to share their experiences and add value to our monthly meetings. If you are an investor or service provider interested in speaking at some of our pin meetings then please visit this page and complete your details: www.propertyinvestorsnetwork.co.uk/speaker
Founder, Property Investors Network