We would love to hear from you. Click on the ‘Contact Us’ link to the right and choose your favorite way to reach-out!

wscdsdc

media/speaking contact

Jamie Johnson

business contact

Victoria Peterson

Contact Us

855.ask.wink

Close [x]
pattern

Industry News

Categories

  • Industry Articles (16,323)
  • Industry Conferences (3)
  • Industry Job Openings (10)
  • Negative Media (138)
  • Positive Media (73)
  • Sheryl's Articles (606)
  • Sheryl's Blogs (173)
  • Wink's Articles (235)
  • Wink's Blogs (216)
  • Wink's Press Releases (94)
  • Blog Archives

  • January 2021
  • December 2020
  • November 2020
  • October 2020
  • September 2020
  • August 2020
  • July 2020
  • June 2020
  • May 2020
  • April 2020
  • March 2020
  • February 2020
  • January 2020
  • December 2019
  • November 2019
  • October 2019
  • September 2019
  • August 2019
  • July 2019
  • June 2019
  • May 2019
  • April 2019
  • March 2019
  • February 2019
  • January 2019
  • December 2018
  • November 2018
  • October 2018
  • September 2018
  • August 2018
  • July 2018
  • June 2018
  • May 2018
  • April 2018
  • March 2018
  • February 2018
  • January 2018
  • December 2017
  • November 2017
  • October 2017
  • September 2017
  • August 2017
  • July 2017
  • June 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • August 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • November 2008
  • May 2008
  • February 2008
  • August 2006
  • How Do You Turn Social Situations into BUSINESS?

    October 8, 2014 by Michael Goldberg

    Very carefully!

    But here’s the truth: People don’t want to feel obligated to do business with you just because you took them to a ball game, wined and dined them over lunch, or spent hours playing golf with them on a Tuesday afternoon. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best financial advisor, broker, planner, rep, producer, agent, or wholesaler in the world — business happens at the speed of trust. So if there is no trust, no value, no genuine relationship, or no synergy, all the ball games in the world aren’t going to transform those prospects into clients.

    A few years back, a wholesaler for an annuity company saw me speak at an event and subsequently hired me to speak at a couple of his “road shows.” He thought my message about networking would be a great incentive to attract financial advisors to his events, and he was right. In fact, his events were such a success that he not only hired me again, but he also referred me to some of his counterparts around the country who also hired me. I returned the favor by introducing him to some of my client firms in his region.

    Now, the business was nice, but I also thought I got a great friend out of the deal. We’re based only a few hours from one another and share a love for the same football and baseball teams — a rare find! But the relationship never really took off. For some reason, the wholesaler became reluctant to respond to my messages. Then I actually saw him at a client event (to which I referred him) where again I was serving as speaker. He was very nice to me and even apologized for being so bad about returning messages. I joked about it, but that was the last time we spoke. I still have a relationship with him, but it’s not the type of relationship I thought it was going to be.

    Here’s my point: I thought I did everything right in terms of building the relationship. The connection felt natural and our conversations were fun and never felt forced. Nevertheless, he may have felt that if we developed the relationship further he would then be obligated to hire me, which I’m hoping wasn’t the case. Even when you do everything right, it’s never a sure thing. So imagine the cost of doing only some things right, or of doing everything wrong!

    Here are a few practical suggestions to help you do everything (or at least most everything) right when looking to develop social situations into business.

    Understand What Networking Is All About

    Networking is not about just shaking hands and kissing babies, handing out business cards, promoting your firm and sharing how awesome your products are, or even pitching your wares. OK, so networking does entail some of that, but not much. Networking is really about learning from and potentially helping people — good people; those you genuinely like and want to help. If you help great people, they help you right back!

    It’s All about Them

    Always focus on learning about the other person until they start asking questions about you. Typically, I don’t talk about myself at all unless someone asks me a specific question. The only exception to that rule is if something just happened in my world and I’m really excited about it and want to share. If something is going on in your business or even your personal life that’s so exciting that others will relate to or be interested in hearing, feel free to share. But remember to shift gears and start asking questions about them. By being interested, you naturally become interesting.

    Be a Connector

    As you’re learning about the people you meet, think about who you can introduce them to — who could help their cause. For example, let’s say some clients you work with (and those prospects you’re looking to work with) have a niche in the manufacturing industry. Maybe you know the VP of operations for a manufacturer and can facilitate an introduction.

    Givers always gain, so look to offer help and make connections in the best interest of all parties involved. I have two hard-and-fast guidelines when providing introductions: 1) you must really like the person (because if you don’t, your friends may not either), and 2) all parties must be great at what they do (professionally, they must offer value and make you look great in the process). It is, after all, all about looking good!

    Find Common Ground

    The best way to find common ground is to ask great questions such as: So, how did you get involved in financial services? What college did you attend? What made you become an accountant? What are some of your current initiatives and goals? What are your biggest challenges? How do you market your business? What do you do for fun?

    If they don’t respond with similar questions along the lines of “How about yourself?,” you’re either doing something wrong or there simply isn’t a good connection.

    Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

    Be very specific about what you want when it comes to business. If there is a specific type of referral you want, mention it (when the time is right). The more specific you are in your request, the more likely you are to get it. Remember the manufacturing example I mentioned earlier? If that financial professional doesn’t mention manufacturers and related details about how they might help, the connection will not happen. So make it happen!

    Speak the Language of “We”

    Practice using “we” language to establish collaboration and opportunities to work together — the true goal of networking. Try using phrases like, “You know, it’s been great that we’ve had the chance to spend some time playing golf and learning about each other’s businesses. I would love to explore how we might help one another moving forward.” Or, “How can we refer more business to each other over time?” Yes, you can be direct if you use “we” language and make the business relationship truly that — a relationship predicated on mutual give and take.

    Out of Sight Is Out of Mind

    The old adage is indeed true — out of sight is out of mind. So, establish a “staying in touch” strategy that ensures you are connected to and learning from those you meet, like, and value. These strategies can include a standing phone meeting every 30 days, dinner whenever you’re in town, quarterly meetings, or whatever, really. For example, I have sushi with a client (she buys!) every quarter, but we mostly discuss movies, television, and family stuff. We spend about five minutes discussing business.

    These ideas are far from revolutionary, but most business owners (including financial pros) don’t have a system in place to ensure many of the little things — including cultivating new relationships — are done consistently. Who are you looking to meet or get to know better? Implement some of these ideas into your day-to-day interactions with clients, prospects, and referral sources and see what happens.

    Out of sight really is out of mind!

    Michael Goldberg
    Michael Goldberg has helped thousands of sales producers generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of referral-based business. His firm Knock Out Networking is focused on increasing the production, recruiting, and retention levels of firms in the financial services industry. Michael is the author of Knock-Out Networking and speaks at conferences, runs sales meetings, and delivers hard, actionable ideas that can be applied immediately. He has been quoted in the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal and is slated to speak at MDRT in June. Michael is currently an award-winning adjunct instructor at Rutgers University and frequently volunteers as a speaker at organizations focused on career search. 

     

    Originally Posted at NAFA Annuity Outlook on September 2014 by Michael Goldberg.

    Categories: Industry Articles
    currency