You touch a ton of advisors , COIs and fellow industry professionals.
You see them in every conceivable venue.
But do you create mutually profitable networking opportunities from those encounters?
Michael Goldberg has helped thousands of advisors, wholesalers, agents, reps, brokers, planners, and private equity firms generate hundreds of thousands of dollars to their bottom line by implementing his Knock Out Networking system.
The focus is helping those in the financial services industry to generate more prospects, more referrals, and more business through networking. Michael gets hired to speak at firms, conferences, or sales meetings or to rollout his networking program companywide.
When he’s not with financial advisors, Michael is an award winning adjunct professor at Rutgers University and donates time to speak at networking groups focused on job search. His book Knock Out Networking! is available!
To inquire about booking Michael Goldberg for your next event through Wholesaler Masterminds Speakers Bureau contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Networking Rules for Wholesalers
When was the last time you were at a public swimming pool? At your golf club, on vacation, or in your town perhaps. You may have noticed there are always rules posted for safety reasons and in accordance with compliance regulations (nothing new to you as a wholesaler). What’s interesting is nobody reads the rules at a swimming pool because we typically know them – no running, no food, grab a towel, the usual.
Imagine if there were rules posted at business meetings and networking events? I find that most wholesalers, financial advisors, insurance agents, and others in the financial world are NOT familiar with (or at least need to be reminded of) the rules to networking. And yes, there are rules! They may be unwritten (until now!) but they exist. Maybe rules should be posted on the wall of every firm you visit and at any event you might attend.
By not playing by the rules or even knowing that there are rules, it’s no wonder so many wholesalers are fearful and uncomfortable when it comes to wading in even the shallow end of the networking swimming pool. It can be difficult to talk about a mutual fund or annuity, especially when those you meet might have a different agenda or be there for a much different reason. Can you relate? That’s what can make networking challenging and even intimidating – everyone in the room has a different agenda.
Here are some Networking Rules that might make it easier for you as a wholesaler to network with advisors (and others) as it relates to your business.
Network, don’t Sell
It’s easy to forget but keep in mind that networking is about learning, helping, asking questions (more on this below), listening, and figuring out ways to start a valuable relationship. It’s not about pitching your product, setting up a sales appointment, asking for introductions, assuming a “close”, and making the whole conversation about you and the benefits of your product. Of course, if an advisor happens to be interested in learning more about your product, service, or offering, great. But don’t assume the sale and keep the tone light and collaborative. Find out how you can be helpful to the advisor? Who are they looking to meet? Think networking! Your goal is to set up a follow up conversation, so you can both learn more and potentially develop a relationship. And those things take time!
Be Interested/Ask Questions/Participate
Yes, all of that! It’s sometimes difficult but be interested in the products and services being offered by advisors. The best way to become more interested and to in fact learn more is to ask questions. Lots of them!
-How did you get involved in the industry?
-What is your background?
-How long have you been an advisor? What have you learned about your clients over the years?
-What specifically are you looking to accomplish this year?
-Do you have a target market?
-What does your target market look like? Who are the best COI for you given your target market?
-What types of events and networking meetings do you like to attend?
-If I were to meet a prospect for you, how would I know?
-What is the best way to refer you prospects?
-Outside of my products, how can I be a resource for you?
Open questions like this will help you learn a lot and hopefully answer similar questions about your own business. How about yourself? Always position yourself as someone that is willing to help and can be a potential referral source.
Schedule the necessary time it takes to follow through on the contacts you make and cards you collect when visiting a firm or at an event. Without follow up nothing else happens. If it makes sense and is appropriate, ask the advisor or whomever you’re speaking with (assuming you had a good connection and valuable talk) when a good time might be to reconnect. Maybe even set aside a day and time right then and there if appropriate. Make your follow up begin when you’re still face to face with an advisor. Just make sure there is a good reason to reconnect. Ask yourself the following questions.
-Do you like them?
-Did they like you?
-Did it “feel right”?
-Was there a lot of valuable information to discuss? Was there mutual interest?
-Are they a possible prospect for you? Are you a possible prospect for them (you never know).
-Can you refer each other business?
-Can you continue to learn from them? Can they learn from you?
-Is it purely social?
All good! Just remember to mention your thoughts when you offer to exchange cards to make sure the feeling is in fact mutual. Again, without follow up, nothing else happens.
Stay in Touch
The kiss of death for almost any good relationship (contacts, referral sources, clients, prospects, friends, family members) is not staying in touch. The best way to get to know people better, develop the relationship, increase the level of trust, and even form friendships is communicating on a regular basis – whatever that means. How do you know how to stay in touch? And how often? Just ask! What would be the best way to keep in touch? Scheduled monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly calls (or meetings) work well. Staying in touch will almost always be on you so make it happen. Remember Out of Sight is Out of Mind (OOSIOOM).
As in all networking scenarios whether at a firm or outside event, you won’t connect with everyone you meet. But these approaches will help you gain more confidence, learn more about the advisors you meet and already know, and build better relationships while generating more referrals, landing more business, and having more fun!
Written by Michael Goldberg