We are less than TWO WEEKS away from Success Summit, and you know what that means! It’s time to make friends, partners, and allies who could give you referrals down the road!
Because Summit isn’t just a place where agents are willing to share; it’s a place that they COME to share! They know that when we give each other a boost, everyone rises together.
That said… Networking isn’t a skill that comes naturally to everyone. Maybe you feel uncomfortable making the first move when meeting new people or maybe you’re just out of practice.
That’s why this week, I’m going to give you my top ten tips for in-person networking, which will help you expand your network at Summit or any other event. Let’s dive right in…
Preparing to Network
Networking begins before we even get to the event. Here are a few things you can start doing right now.
Tip No. 1: Wear at Least One Memorable Thing
I’m sure you’re a very memorable person, but at an event like Summit full of thousands of other agents, you need to give everyone some sort of visual anchor to remember you by. Now, I’m not saying you need to wear a lime green suit and shave your head into a mohawk. It can be something subtle like a fun tie, a ribbon in your hair, or a bright dress. It doesn’t matter what it is; you just don’t want to blend into the crowd.
And as a side note… You want to stand out, but you also want to be looking your best. Networking is about confidence and looking good will directly translate into feeling good.
Tip No. 2: Fill Out Your Own Contact in Your Phone
Did you know that you can save your own contact in your phone?
“But Tom… Why would I want to do that? I can’t call myself…”
I’m talking about filling out all the fields. Assign your best picture. Put the links to your YouTube and Instagram. Your email address. All of it. This will make it super easy for you to text or airdrop the contact quickly to anyone you meet.
Tip No. 3: Make a List of the People You Want to Meet
People go to events like these to meet other people – even the famous ones. What sets our ecosystem apart from so many others (besides how much money we make) is how open and willing to help others we are.
Look up the names of people you admire and other agents from your area who you know will be there. If you’re noticing a lot of people moving to your area from New York or Nashville or wherever, look up some agents from those areas who will be there. And if you’re a coaching member, you have access to the Tom Ferry Facebook mastermind groups, which is a perfect place to start connecting before you ever touch down in Dallas.
Tip No. 4: Do Your Research to Find Common Ground
It’s not creepy to do your homework and it’s not manipulative to look through someone’s social media to try to find common ground before you meet them. Actually, it’s a sign of respect and it signifies you value the content they’re putting out.
You’d be surprised by some of the things you have in common with others that you’d never expect. It’s the ultimate way to break the ice and form a connection.
Tip No. 5: Make a Milkshake
Milkshake is a website hosting platform which allows you to design a mobile-only website through an easy-to-use app.
The service was created for Instagram-based businesses to be able to link their various accounts and websites from their bio. But… it could serve just as well as an electronic business card for networking. In just a few minutes, you can have a beautiful, custom-colored page with your photo and links to all your social media accounts and websites.
It is important to keep in mind that this page can’t be accessed on a desktop, so make sure that your own business website is optimized for mobile.
At the Event
Now that we’ve discussed everything you can do to prepare, let’s talk about what to do at the actual event.
Tip No. 6: Don’t Just Sit with the People You Know
Staying in your comfort zone will never help you grow. If you go to an event like Summit and spend all your time hanging out with the people you already know, you’ve missed a huge opportunity.
Talk with your team and your friends about making a conscious effort to meet new people, even if it means sitting apart during a presentation or going to lunch with different groups. It will benefit everyone in the long haul because real friends share their friends.
Tip No. 7: Be Bold
Being the one to approach and initiate a conversation with a stranger is uncomfortable. It’s a lot safer to allow people to come to you. The only problem is that almost everyone thinks like this, and if everyone stays in their corner then no one dances.
A few weeks ago, we talked about Mel Robbins’s “Five Second Rule.” This is idea that when a thought crosses your mind, you have five seconds to act on it before the thought dies. If you hesitate and think on the action for more than five seconds, fear and resistance begin to sink in, so don’t wait.
If you see someone you want to talk to, don’t think about it. Count down from five… four… three… two… and then go talk to them. It’s your blastoff countdown, and when you reach zero, you’ve already begun to walk towards them. This exercise will keep you living in the moment instead of in your head. Real estate is for the bold. Be bold.
Tip No. 8: Listen with True Curiosity
Meaningful conversation is about active listening, and this is best accomplished when you’re actually interested in what someone is saying. I know what you’re probably thinking… “I can’t make myself be interested in what someone has to say.” But I believe that when you put yourself in an open, receptive, and calm state of mind, you absolutely can.
Drop your guard for a minute and allow yourself to connect with another person. I’m not saying to let them do all the talking but make a true effort to create a mutual understanding. No one likes the networker who is clearly only there to network. Be genuine and invest yourself in other people. When you do, they’ll do the same for you.
Tip No. 9: Be the First One to Give
Obviously, getting referrals should not be the only thing that you want when meeting a new person. That said, you do still want them… But so do the new people you’re meeting. There is a time and a place to talk about business and money, and Summit just happens to be it.
Make the first move. Ask to get their number so you can send them referrals. Invite them to your Facebook referral group. And then ask if they’d be open to sharing with you. They’ll be impressed by your initiative and possibly relieved that you were the one to bring it up.
Tip No. 10: Introduce Your New Friend to Other People
As I’ve already mentioned, true friends share friends. This is how communities are made, trust is built, relationships solidified. It’s another aspect of giving. If multiple people see you as the source of so many of their connections, then you’re the relationship broker, the person worth knowing. Be that person.
I Hope You’re Excited
I sure as heck am. Just 12 more days! If you haven’t gotten your in-person tickets for Summit in Dallas, make sure to do that while they’re still available.
And even though this blog was focused on in-person networking, it doesn’t mean these same tactics won’t work remotely. Our Livestream setup allows for a lot more engagement and interaction than one might expect. So, if you can’t make it to Dallas, you still have just as much to gain by getting your Livestream ticket, here.
Good luck in your preparation and I can’t wait to network with you, soon!