As the Founder of SmartGuy.com, people often ask me for tips on the best ways to network with others in their area. While, Smart Guy provides you the ultimate database of others in your area who also believe in helping/referring each other, you must have the right behaviorial mindset when meeting them.
For this reason, I have provided 7 exercises to greatly improve your business networking.
In fact, I think you will find that will they will also help in expanding your life and meeting more quality people. You see, Smart Guy is full of people like yourself who share in the "win-win" team building approach of helping eachother.
Getting to really know yourself
Exercise 1 - Ask 5 close friends to describe you in 7-8 sentences. Tell them to be honest and include all the negatives. Have them email you from an email account that you don’t know to ensure secrecy. You might be surprised what you hear.
Exercise 2 - Stop clumping with the same type of people. Make an effort to hang around others that are different than you and learn to interact with them. Not just those with different interests, but those with different attitudes, professions, ages, etc. spend time talking to them, get to know them, not just surface issues - go deep.
Exercise 3 - Create a Monday - Friday schedule for yourself by the hour and stick to it. If you need to set up a time for a phone meeting, schedule it in that time slot. If normally meet with clients, make it during that time slot. If you need to do billing or other efforts that require quiet, schedule it later in the day. Of course, emergencies can come up; however, don't allow personal errands to disrupt your schedule.
Exercise 4 - write a 30-45 second script describing what you do and how it can help others. Than practice it with friends and family and be sure it's under a minute.
Start Prospecting Online
Exercise 5 - go to www.SmartGuy.com, enter your city, and start connecting with all the businesses ALREADY in your area that agree to (1) provide quality service, (2) offer discounts and (3) refer each other whenever possible! Wouldn't you rather focus your time closing deals, rather than looking for them? Meet the other fellow Smart Guy members in your area.
Networking Opportunities Offline
Exercise 6 - get information and visit your local networking organizations. They are not for everyone. Some require a greater financial commitment, others require more of a time commitment, but they do offer great value for the money. Select at least 1.
Exercise 7 - Buy a book and start reading! Books written by Brian Tracy on improving yourself or Dr. Ivan Misner on improving your referral skills are excellent choices. Educate with winners and eradicate the losers. Stop hanging out with the energy drainers and time wasters.
We are in one of the most challenging times in our economy. Like many other countries before us, there is a disintegration of the middle class. You must now select whether to be "rich" or "poor" - it's up to you. I hope you select "rich" and that you have the discipline, drive and passion to follow through and achieve your dreams.