The Canadian Imperial Business Network

Categories: Featured, Networking


Work Your Network

Some business owners add more than $40,000 a year to their bottom line by networking. Others come out to one or two meetings and declare that networking is not for them. Some go to many meetings a month with little results. What makes one networker successful while others seem to waste their time?

1. Attitude seems to be one of the big differences. The true network has a different attitude than the person who is just trying it out. The successful networking entrepreneur realizes this is going to take an investment of time, commitment and money. They understand the need to add value as they network and they work their nets with regularity going over each of the following 10 steps with great care.

Rics_B2B_Club2. Build relationships not just business deals. The true networker does not see each new person as a client, or as a sale made. They see people as people. They look at business owners as potential friends whom they would like to make long lasting relationships with. They see associates as strategic business partners and they are not threatened even by competitors but view them as people they may need to get to know for joint venture possibilities and collaboration. These are not just business deals, they are people that you can work with to create a lucrative and rewarding future with.

3. Ask for referrals specifically. The first part of this is to ask. It is an odd thing but some people actually expect others to help them without asking and that is not likely to happen. Networking is serious business so treat it like serious business by doing what needs to be done. Secondly, ask for exactly what you want. You might think everyone is in your market, but that doesn’t help your fellow networkers to think of anyone in particular. Be specific. Who is your exact target market? What age? What gender? What occupation? What can you tell us about them that makes us think of someone we know?

4. Follow Up On Referrals. There is no point to networking if you won’t pick up the phone and make the call. There is no point to owning a business either. Go get a job if you can’t dial a prospect and ask for a meeting. You will starve to death if you try to be an entrepreneur.

5. Perfect Your One Minute Infomercial. In one minute you need to be able to say, who you are, what you do and what is your perfect client. Time yourself. Practice. When you get it into one minute and you are comfortable in saying it, then also create a 30 second elevator pitch and a two minute one. This gives you diversity in a variety of different situations and you will become very clear in asking for exactly what you want. Your number of referrals will go up and the quality of the leads will improve as well.

6. Create A Three Minute Story. This is not an infomercial. Create a 3 minute story about a client that you helped. What was their need? How did you meet the need? What happened as a result? You do not want to monopolize twenty minutes or be the only one talking so make it 3 minutes maximum.

7. Attend A Weekly Referral Group. There are many kinds of groups that you can attend and it is always good to diversify but if you do not have a weekly core group of dedicated people who are willing to watch out for your next great lead you are doing yourself a great disservice. Some people do not like the weekly group, believing that it takes too much time, however this one activity each week will grow your business more than all of your other networking activities combined. It is the core event that all of your other events bounce off of. You want to belong to a committed club where members help each other and invest time in each other. You do not want to be a part of a group that tries to control your other networking activities. The more networking the better.

8. Be A Learner. Go to additional events where you learn how to be a better business person. Invest in yourself. Spend some money on yourself. You will get back a multiplication of what you put out there. That is the problem with a free event. Zero being multiplied is still zero. You are worth more than that.

9. Book A Meeting From The Meeting. It is surprising the folks who don’t take advantage of this. Every new person who comes to your group whether they are a member or a guest is a potential friend, a possible client, and a future collaborator. Why wouldn’t you book a coffee with them? If they join your group, then great, you already have initiated the business process, but if they do not join they may still need your service. They may still need the relationship with you. Book a meeting from the meeting. One of our CIBN members created a $16,000 commission for himself doing just this one thing.

10. Be A Giver. If you are a giver, you will naturally get more. However, don’t give just to get. If your motivation is all about getting, you will be found out. Givers are easy to see and those who have a sense of entitlement with a long list of expectations also stand out. Givers are people who add value to others. They look for ways to help out. They volunteer. They visit other members of their referral club and ask a lot of questions. They look for leads for their fellow networkers and they become connectors. Givers get, but not because they ‘deserve’ it. They get because that is the natural order of giving. What comes around goes around, but it is not always in the immediate timing that we want.


And here is one more NETWORK tip for FREE!

11. Have Patience. If you don’t like things that require delayed gratification, you probably won’t like networking either. It takes time to get the results that you want. People need to get to know you. They need to see your heart. They look to see if you are a giver. People give up too early. We have had people come to the clubs for a few weeks and leave. A couple of weeks later a member will ask about them because they have a lead for them, but now they are gone. Sometimes they are even sour and we can’t even approach them with the lead. What a tragedy!

CIBN GENERAL from Sergey on Vimeo.

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