Is your networking really productive or are you just spending time with old friends? What if you were networking with influential people? Thomas J. Stanley, author of Networking with the Affluent, says, “Dollar for dollar, the most productive way to penetrate the affluent market is to network with its members, their advisors, and key members of their important affinity groups”.
There is a difference in the mindset of wealthy people and less affluent people. When purchasing a product wealthy people consider the investment rather than the cost, the long term benefit rather than the immediate gratification, and tax consequences instead of just cash flow. Did you know 40% of the wealth is controlled by about 1% of the people? Rather than attempting to market a few products or services to many prospective purchasers, consider marketing many products or services to a few customers who are influencers. Develop one or more niches of influencers on which you can focus.
Are all influencers wealthy? There are many less affluent people to connect you with influential people. Rather than what you know, it is who you know, who knows you, what you know and remember about each other, and how you build relationships. What do you think of when you hear wealthy, affluent, or influential? Does is bring up thoughts of exclusive, privacy, or inaccessible? Most successful people dislike being sold and yet welcome opportunities where they can share their knowledge, develop relationships, and increase their contact sphere. It is important that you are perceived as an influencer yourself, so begin by developing the mindset of an influential person.
Develop a Plan
How do you approach these influential people? Do research (Google it) and get background information on individuals you want to meet, the events they are attending, and who else attend these groups. As often as possible take a millionaire to lunch or at least take someone who advises the affluent. Get away from the office, phone calls, and other distractions. Spend the time asking questions to discover their urgent needs. There are many success stories about networkers who helped influential people solve problems or supported causes, totally unrelated to the networkers business, and received lucrative contracts as a result. Offer to conduct complimentary seminars or workshops for their employees on topics you know will benefit them. Share ideas you have learned about personal development, leadership, and relationship marketing. Ask them where you should network.
Find the Resources
Be a resource, the “go to” guy, who has influencers coming to you for referrals for other services or products to help their business. You will receive endorsements for using the law of reciprocity .Business is all about relationships. Mention the people with whom you want to build relationships in your newsletters. Utilize social media. Have pictures taken with influential people at events. Belong to at least one Chamber of Commerce and serve on committees where you can meet the influencers. Attend the networking events where you can meet the influencers rather than just those in which you feel comfortable. The most personal growth happens when you are uncomfortable. Groups where there is no charge for membership tend to attract members only interested in saving money. Exclusivity is important aspect of networking groups composed of influential people.
When is the best time to make a sale? It is when you have just made a sale because you are in a peak state. So when is the best time to contact an influencer you want to meet? It is when they have just concluded a major deal or been recognized for accomplishments and are feeling great about themselves. Also, take into consideration the best time of day for you personally. Are you at your best in the morning, noon, afternoon, evening, or night time.
Stay in Touch
Finally, develop a system of following up. Let them know you enjoyed and benefitted from your meeting and exchange of ideas. Send a personal note with helpful ideas from time to time. Set up a time to reconnect. Determine the next step. And, continue to help them in any way you can, even if there is no immediate financial benefit to you. Always remember the Givers’ Gain® philosophy.
Your Network is Your Wealth!