Networking

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Lawrence's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-04

I'm looking to leverage some of my old contacts and I'm trying to decide what strategy I should use. I was thinking about just setting up a time to meet up for lunch or after work beers but I'm not sure how best to approach this.

These are people who I have never met up with before for anything; so I'm wondering if I should make clear my intent that this be for networking or should I make it seem like I want to meet socially.

I'm thinking I should open with the declarative that "I'm always networking", but if anyone has had any success with some other approach, it would be great to hear some other ideas.

B24's picture
B24
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Joined: 2008-07-08

When approaching old acquiantances regarding business, I would always start with some form of "I am looking to network with people in your business (my old business), what do you suggest?  Who can you introduce me to? etc.".
Use your own words, but the point is not to come across as trying to prospect THAT individual, but rather trying to tap that persons NETWORK.  That is much less confrontational than directly asking someone you know for their business.  Many friends and associates are uncomfortable with doing financial business with people they are freinds with, but are OK with referring others (some people, including myself, don't like discussing personal finances with friends).
 
I would much rather have a friend refer 5 people to me than just him do business with me.

Mandoman's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-07

I'd tell them straight up what you are doing.  Let them know that you are looking for quality individuals, such as themselves (even if they are not your clients), who might benefit from your services.  Tell them that you will pick up the check, would like 3 - 5 names that come to mind, and that you look forward to visiting with them and catching up on things/life/whatever.
 
That way, they know up front what they are getting into, so if they don't want to "go there," they  have the out of telling you they are to busy.
 
This sort of thing has worked well for me with existing clients, too.  You don't have to buy lunch for them, just ask them for referrals whenever you meet face to face.  I usually indicate the number of people I want from them, be it 3, 4, 5 or however many.  This works well with your "happy" customers.  Don't ask anyone who just lost their a55!

Squash1's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-19

Lawrence wrote:I'm looking to leverage some of my old contacts and I'm trying to decide what strategy I should use. I was thinking about just setting up a time to meet up for lunch or after work beers but I'm not sure how best to approach this. These are people who I have never met up with before for anything; so I'm wondering if I should make clear my intent that this be for networking or should I make it seem like I want to meet socially. I'm thinking I should open with the declarative that "I'm always networking", but if anyone has had any success with some other approach, it would be great to hear some other ideas.
I wouldn't use that line even if you told me I could land a $10M client(ok maybe for that I would)...
 
Sounds like a line from the local yocal chamber meet & greet...

Sportsfreakbob's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-24

From the title of the thread, i assume you are truly looking for networking opps. If thats the case why not just tell the truth?
Just say something like "i'm working hard to build my business, i assume you are too. Why dont we get together, maybe there are ways we can help each other

Wet_Blanket's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-13

That line makes you sound like you are trading sex for referrals.

SometimesNowhere's picture
Joined: 2008-12-22

Lawrence wrote:I'm looking to leverage some of my old contacts and I'm trying to decide what strategy I should use. I was thinking about just setting up a time to meet up for lunch or after work beers but I'm not sure how best to approach this.

These are people who I have never met up with before for anything; so I'm wondering if I should make clear my intent that this be for networking or should I make it seem like I want to meet socially.

I'm thinking I should open with the declarative that "I'm always networking", but if anyone has had any success with some other approach, it would be great to hear some other ideas.

I didn't know Thai hookers had enough money to open an investment account.

Wet_Blanket's picture
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Joined: 2008-11-13

They are the best clients.  After they sign paperwork they usually take dumps on glass tables.

Lawrence's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-04

Thanks for all the good ideas. One of the nice things about cold calling is it is easy to burn through prospects. If you screw up, just dial another number. But, I would like to contact some of my warmer contacts; but I need to find a way to do it elegantly.

Telling someone to bring the names of 3 people might work for some - but I'm sure it won't work with most of my contacts.

But, then there's also contacts who I am clearly not friends with. So, to meet up for lunch, I need to state a reason. I guess this will always be sort of hit or miss...just like everything else.

Rhett Captain's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-01

Since joining my firm as a FA, I've been hitting all the local "networking" events.  For a newbie, it is a great way to get in front of people but the results are mixed.   Some observations:
 
Many folks are willing to agree to an appointment.  But there is a quid pro quo.  You will likely have to endure a network marketing/multi level marketing spiel as part of that appointment.  I always smile and patiently listen but then inform them that Other Business Activities rules for those of us in the securities business precludes us from signing up.
 
Divorced guys have no money.  Met with a fellow yesterday.  Allegedly made a killing trading options a number of years back.  Six figures, he said.  Now he is 50 years old and after paying off both his previous wives and continuing to pay alimony and child support to the second, he lives paycheck to paycheck.
 
Single moms or divorcees with kids have no money either.
 
There are a lot of failed small business owners out there.
 
Anyway, the hunt continues...

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