by Bryan F. Hatfield III
In 2008 I left the family business and went to work for a big company in NYC. Working there I found myself loving the commercial finance world. In 2012 I decided to leave the insurance world and rebrand myself in commercial finance.
I knew that I would have to work hard and invest a lot of my time and money to get off the ground. One thing I learned is that money is not free. The second thing I learned is that money is everywhere. That is when I harshly started looking at each person in my network as dollar signs. The more I put a dollar figure on the time I spent with connections the more I realized how much money relationships can make me.
Networking is the key to building relationships. Just like money these relationships can cost you money or make you money. Sometimes you have to invest in order to see a return and sometimes you have to cut loose of weighted friendships that are losing you money. This is key when building a network. I know that sounds terrible and I am an evil person, but it is what leads to success in networking.
When you are getting started out you need to make as many friends as possible. This is where free networking events come into play. They are a great way to gather massive amounts of contacts with very little investment of funds but heavy investment of money.
Now that you have the names it is time to discard and continue. This is when you pick out the people that you liked and separate them from the ones you didn’t like. Now take each pile and pull out the ones that are in related fields or could be potential clients, from both piles. Those are the people that you need to know. Send everyone a thank you email and tell them how nice it was to meet them. The people you pulled out of the pile that you liked, call them and set up an in person meeting. Once you have 10 people that you like and are truly potential referral partners you set up a networking group. The 10 of you focus on referring business to one another and bringing in new people to the group that fit your model. This way you all share in the gains.
By; Bryan F. Hatfield III
CEO of MACTO Business Alliance