Opportunity Knocks Softly – Are You Listening?

Why are some people better networkers than others? Because they know more people? No, that’s not it. Being well connected certainly helps, but knowing tons of people does NOT automatically translate into tons of referrals. 

How about “people” people? You know the type, folks who strike up a conversation anytime, anywhere, with everybody they come in contact with, even if just for a minute. Nope! Confidence and the ability to talk to strangers increase the number of opportunities to create a referral, yet there are millions of great conversationalists who talk and talk, yet rarely, if ever, generate business for someone they know.

So if being well connected and the gift of gab are not guarantees of successful networking, what is the skill that separates people who create an ongoing stream of money making referrals from those who don’t? 

Simply put, great networkers see opportunity where others do not. In other words, they “connect the dots” others miss.

The First Dot

The first “dot” is recognizing that the person you are talking to has a “need.” Got a sore back? Talk to my friend the Chiropractor – he’s the best! Interested in building a custom home? I have a friend who is a great General Contractor, may I have him call you?

asleep-at-the-switch4Unfortunately, most people consistently miss referral opportunities on a daily basis. Yes, they are trying to network, attending mixers and talking to people, but nothing ever seems to happen when it comes to creating business. Even in structured networking groups designed to build each other’s business, lots of folks fall short of the mark. 

Why? Failure to recognize opportunity. 

Wedding Example

A hapless networker is talking to someone who is planning a wedding. After asking when the wedding will be, or talking about how exciting it is to be getting married, and then exchanging “Wedding” experiences and stories, the networker fails to ask a few more questions to uncover a “need” which might be serviced by a business person they know. 

“Are you having any challenges at this stage of planning the wedding?”

“Are you going to buy a new house together or move into one of your current homes?”

“Have you updated your insurance and created a Will or Family Trust to protect your new spouse?”

The Second Dot

Great networkers are not only skilled at uncovering a prospect’s “needs,” they are also prepared to help by referring a variety of business people (people they like and trust) as the biz-team-21best person the Prospect could call for help with that particular need.

Connecting the Dots

But the big money isn’t created by simply recognizing opportunity and having a team of professionals from an assortment of businesses who provide a variety of goods and services. Great networkers take action, connecting the dots with an effective, enthusiastic and compelling recommendation, explaining to the prospect what makes the business person special, and why the prospect will benefit from working with your Power Team partner.

20 Questions

OK, enough concept and theory! Let’s get back to recognizing opportunity and uncovering a need. Here are 20 referral opportunities for your Power Team partners you might be overlooking (and the question to ask to uncover a need) when talking to someone who is planning a wedding:  

Attorney – Do you have a good Attorney to create a Will or Trust to protect your new spouse?
Auto Repair – Do you have a good mechanic you can trust to keep your family vehicles safe and reliable?
Cell Phones – Are you saving money with a combined Family Minutes rate plan?
Clean House – Do you have someone to clean the house before and after the Wedding?
CPA– Do you have a CPA you can trust for Tax Planning and Preparation as a married couple?
Errand/Delivery Service – Do you have someone you can count on to pick up groceries and run errands while you are busy with the Wedding?
Financial Planning – Do you have someone you can trust to help Invest for your retirement and a college fund if you decide to have children?
Furniture Sales – Do you know someone who can find furniture at a great price for the new household?
Insurance – Do you have a good Insurance Agent to protect your new spouse with Life, Health and Disability Insurance?
Interior Design – Do you have a Designer to help mix two houses of furniture?
Life Coach – Do you have a good Life Coach for Pre Marital Counseling?
Massage – Have you thought of giving a Gift Certificate for a Massage to the Bridal Party, Family or Bride and Groom?  
Mortgage – Do you know someone you can trust in the Mortgage business who can help you take some Equity out of your house to pay for the Wedding and Honeymoon?
Multi Media – Do you know someone who can take old photos of the Bride and Groom to create an entertaining and sentimental musical slideshow for the Wedding reception?
Nutritional Products – Do you have the best Nutritional Products to help you lose weight and feel great for the Wedding?
Personal Trainer – Do you know a Personal Trainer you can trust to help you lose weight and get in shape for the Wedding?
Pet & House Sitter – Do you have someone you can trust for Dog Walks and empty house visits when you are out of town on your honeymoon?
Realtor—Is this the right time to sell or rent one or both houses and buy one together?
Security System – Do you have a home Security System to protect your family?
Travel Agent – Do you have a good Travel Agent to help make recommendations, plans and reservations for the honeymoon?

questions2Whew… that’s a lot of questions! No worries: next time out I will give you the TWO most important questions Power Team networkers must use in every conversation to create an abundance of money making referrals, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me On Twitter!


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