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10 Secret Recipes for Networking Success

November 30, 2011

beyond insuranceHave you ever known “that guy?” That guy who worked full-time, coached little league, volunteered at his church, sat on two non-profit boards, and more?

I know “that guy”, and that guy is Sam. Sam is a 37 year old producer who is having the time of his life.  He never cold calls, has an excellent work/life balance and rarely has outside competition on key accounts. 

One day I had the opportunity to ask Sam how he does it. Simply stated, Sam related to me that ““When you help others, they want to return the favor.  Reciprocity is one of my guiding principles.”

Thankfully the conversation didn’t stop there.  Sam continued to teach me about how his network of relationships adds tremendous value to his insurance business. This is what Sam calls “the art of networking,” and he shared with me his 10 secret recipes for networking success.

10 Secret Recipes for Networking Success:

  1. Discover your unique abilities and value proposition in the marketplace. Deliver a process to uncover issues to beyond insurancesolve other people’s problems.
  2. Put together a personal board of advisers. Consider experienced business leaders with wisdom and the ability to mentor. Seek out role models with experience, wisdom and a gift of sharing.
  3. Be patient. Networks take time to develop.
  4. Think of networking as collecting friends who share your passion to serve others.
  5. Get involved in activities which interest you. Assume leadership roles when the occasion arises.
  6. Figure out who are the super connectors in your community (i.e., CPAs, attorneys, head hunters, etc.)
  7. Establish a relationship management system to stay in contact with your network.
  8. Take risks. You must be willing to take some risks in connecting. The worst anyone can say is “No.”
  9. Networking is not a numbers game. It is strategic, thoughtful and deliberate.
  10. Generosity is the key. Remember to give before you receive.

A powerful network is not exclusive to insurance agents and brokers.  Attorneys, accountants, bankers, investment advisers and other professionals benefit from the process of connecting.  Your potential for connecting at this moment is bigger than you ever imagined.  All around you are golden opportunities to develop relationships with people you know who know people you don’t know.  The act of connecting with your circle of clients, family and friends is powerful and exhilarating.

Step back.  Look around you.  You have the potential for an amazing network sitting in front of you.  Begin by helping others succeed.  Your generosity is the key.

Scott Addis

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