Today we're gonna talk about networking for sales. All right, most people think that networking is about going out there and getting someone to buy your stuff. That's not true. That's cold calling in person. We don't want that. What we really want to think of networking ... We want to think of networking as starting a relationship. Starting a relationship. That's our key piece.
I want you to realize there are three reasons why we network. The first one is for that direct connection. I want you to buy my stuff. I'm gonna go out there, find someone, that person's gonna buy my stuff. Love that. Awesome. But there are two other reasons why I might want to network. The second reason is, this person or you, you cannot buy my stuff, but you know people who could, so I want access to your circles of influence. Because if I know you, you'll introduce me to them and all of a sudden now we got a shot at closing some deals. So, direct connection. Circle of influence. Third reason why. I need a resource. I need a helper. I need a vendor or an alliance. I need someone to help me do my job better. I need someone to service my clients in a way that I don't service, or someone to introduce me to a new world, a new field, a new market. Any of those three reasons are reasons why we want to network.
Why does that matter? Different ways of looking to them? No. It matters because this is the way I want you to think about where you are going to go. Where are you gonna go to network? You might say, "Well, Larry. I'll go to networking events." Not necessarily. I want you to think about it. When I go to a certain place, will there be people there who are my direct connection? Will there be people there who have a good circle of influence? Will there be people there who can be an alliance or resource for me? If the answer is no, don't go.
"But Larry, every book I read tells me I should network everywhere, all the time." All those books are wrong. Why would I want you to network everywhere, all the time? You're just gonna get burned out and you've done it I'm sure. If you're watching this, you've played the networking game before. You've gone to networking events every day, every week, every month, or whatever the case may be, met tons of people and nothing. Now you're burned out and you don't want to do it anymore.
You want to look at your networking as if it's your marketing budget. Now if all of a sudden I'm your marketing guru. I'm you're new marketing guru and I tell you I got the plan. The plan is, we're gonna network, we're gonna market, we're gonna market everywhere. You would say, "That's a terrible idea. Wouldn't I want to market where the right people will buy my product or service are?" Yeah, well you are your product or service. You are the product or the service. You are the one who you want the people who are seeing you or meeting you to fit in those three categories. I don't want you to market everywhere. It is a waste of your time or a waste of your energy. Be efficient in your marketing as you would be efficient in your networking. They are the same thing.
So, I ask you a question. I have a friend. My friend, she's running an event where people from all around the city are coming to meet, and I say, "You should go to that event." What is your answer? Should you go? Most people would say, "Sure. Why not? You never know. That makes sense because you never know where you're next sale's coming from. You should go," and that's a really bad idea.
I want you to ask the question, "Great Larry. Who's gonna be there?" I don't want you doing your networking based upon, you never know. That's like don't go and put any money away, don't think of anything, instead play the lottery because you never know. That's your answer, play the lottery. Same idea. When someone says, "You never know where your next sale's coming from," understand they're ignorant. They don't get it. They're saying stuff that sounds cool and they think it's good. It's a bad idea. I want you to be targeted, methodical, and smart as you spend your marketing budget. You're marketing budget is money. You're networking budget is time and time is more important, because you can make more money, you cannot make more time.
As I said, if I tell you that story. My friend has an event. Who knows who's gonna be there. You should err on the side of no. Yes. I am telling you, err on the side of no. Network efficiently. Network effectively. Are those three people there? They are? Go. They're not there. Don't.
How are you gonna figure out where they are? Well, if you are able to be savvy and you heard or watched my video before about how to find your target markets, now you know where to network. Those target markets, where are they gonna be? Right? If you can figure that out, now you can rock and role.
Here are some good tips and rules on where to network. Number one, to the best of your ability try to be part of at least one trade association, but here's the key, not your trade association. Right? If you're selling insurance, don't be a part of an insurance trade association. You want to say who are you selling to? Oh, you sell to business owners? And those business owners happen to be doctors offices? Then, be a part of a doctor trade association. When you partner with a trade association, that's where your prospects are. That's one. Second, be part of some way where you have multiple people getting together, chamber of commerce, BNI, EO. something where multiple people get to together and meet often periodically. You pick the one that works best in your world. One of those, also great.
Lastly, and here's the one that people don't always get, you want to find an association that's either based upon a hobby, or an idea or a background, or something that does not matter what your social status is. As an example, a church. Glorious, right? You're gonna find people of high, low birth, all mix and match, people who are CEO's, people who are the newbie to the business. Doesn't matter. That's great. You're connected by your religion. Awesome. Could be a charity. We all care about children who are sick. Love it. The earth. Whatever the case may be. You care about that. Join that. Awesome. Nonprofit. Could be a reason for an ethnic background. Could be an Italian American Chamber of Commerce. Armenian Business Man's Association. You pick. Whatever the background you happen to be, find that also works. Any of those types will work for you. You can pick the ones you want, but where people of all different social status, all different parts of the business will be there. If you can get all three of those in your networking world, you are rocking and rolling.
Here are some rules on picking them. They must have meetings at least once per quarter. If they don't meet once per quarter, not good enough. They must have meetings. Give away awards, have fund raisers, meetings, things of that sort. They don't have that, bad idea. Second, if it's a charity ... Now, charities. If you love a charity, please support a charity. I'm talking about charities for networking purposes. If you're gonna be part of a charity for a networking purpose, try to find a charity that is not government sponsored, because what you want is a charity that has a donor base. Their donor base allows you to communicate with people who are often business owners, just like you, or who are entrepreneurs or salespeople, just like you. They're often doing things. I want you to meet with them if at all possible. So donor base is important for a charity.
No matter which one you pick, remember something, meeting at least once a quarter, preferably once a month, and I want you in front of those people every single month. I want you having meetings with those people at least one time per week. "Larry. Are you telling me I'm gonna be meeting with people one time per week? I get a family. I got a business. I get stuff done. How can I do that?" Yeah, I don't care. Do it anyway. I want you to find space. If you cannot find time to market, then you are not going to be able to sell your product or service, period. So you need to find time to do this. Networking is farming, not hunting.
I hope that part was clear on where I want to go. I'm now gonna tell you what to do when you get there.