Networking, it seems like a logical thing. If you want business, you network. Networking means giving people your card and telling them what you do, right? Not, it’s doesn’t. It all comes back to a key misunderstanding of the term “networking.”
The problem? The general misunderstanding of “networking” as a selfish action. I give them my card. I follow up with them. I remind them that if they want something, contact me. That’s a lot of “I” and “Me.”
Here’s How to Fix That
Stop Networking and Start Helping. Stop thinking of meeting someone as “networking opportunities” and start thinking of them as opportunities to help people. When you provide a benefit or helping hand to someone, they’ll remember that down the road. For example you, as the agent, provide a seminar for potential clients teaching them about Medicare 101. Do not just hand out a card afterwards and say “This is what I can do; contact me when you’re ready to purchase a plan.” Try something different, take the approach of “Here is my contact information, let me know if there is anything I can do to help you.”
Another scenario: After an appointment hand your client 2 business cards. Tell your client that one business card is for them and the other is for someone else that might need your help. This is a great way to earn referrals and increase your business.
Meet people and look for ways you can help them. Make sure to have less “I’s” when networking for new clients and focus on helping people with no expectations. Be a giver, not a taker, change your mindset from a selfish one to an unselfish one. You will be rewarded many times over with sales and referrals.
Original article posted by Jeff Archibald on 01/22/14, http://lifehacker.com/stop-networking-and-start-helping-1506662821