Art of Business Networking: Guide for Financial Advisors. Here’s how you can be an engaging participant at networking events.
Business networking is a vital part of being a financial advisor. After all, it’s a fantastic way to meet new people, build relationships, and grow your business. But it can be difficult to be engaging while networking, especially if you’re new to the industry or to networking. Or, your Business Coach is asking you to do more networking 🙂
Today, I’ll discuss some tips and tricks to help you be more engaging in any networking situation. Read on below to learn more.
What Is Business Networking?
Business networking refers to the process of meeting people to exchange knowledge, develop new professional contacts, and forge beneficial partnerships. These connections will aid you when looking for new clients, improving your skills, and broadening your industry knowledge.
Business networking is all about building relationships with other professionals in your industry. So, you won’t necessarily only be meeting other financial advisors. You may also end up meeting people in different jobs but still within the same industry. The point is to make connections and build relationships that may lead to new opportunities.
What Are the Forms of Business Networking?
There are many different kinds of business networking. These include the following:
In-Person Networking Events.
These events aim to bring professionals together in a face-to-face environment. In-person networking events include conferences and other industry-specific events.
Online networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter let professionals connect with one another and share information. These sites may be particularly helpful for professionals who can’t attend in-person events.
Referral networking involves building relationships with other professionals who can refer clients to you. Your referral network may include other financial advisors, accountants, or even attorneys.
Getting involved in your local community can be a good way to meet other professionals and build relationships. Activities you may consider joining include volunteering events, local business association events, or community events.
While not as effective as other forms of networking, cold calling may help you connect with potential clients and build your network.
Why Is Networking Important for Financial Advisors?
Networking is an important part of being a financial advisor. It’s a great way to meet new people, build professional connections, and grow your business. Networking can help you:
- Build your reputation.
- Learn about new opportunities.
- Generate leads.
- Build relationships with other professionals in your industry.
- Stay up-to-date on industry trends.
How Can Financial Advisors Find Networking Events?
There are plenty of ways you can find networking events. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Check with your local chamber of commerce
Join a professional association
Attend events hosted by your clients
Attend industry conferences and events
What’s the Difference Between an Engaged Networker and a Passive Attendee?
Business networking is all about building relationships with other professionals who may be able to help you. Although it’s important to attend networking events and meet new people, it’s even more important to be engaging and memorable.
Engaging business networking is about making a lasting impression on the people you meet and building meaningful relationships that can lead to new business opportunities.
Being an engaging business networker means being proactive and taking the initiative to start conversations and build relationships. It’s about being enthusiastic, confident, and passionate about what you do. Engaging business networkers don’t simply show up to events and wait for people to approach them. Instead, they take an active role in the networking process.
Here are the main differences between being an engaging business networker and a passive attendee:
Engaging business networkers are proactive and take the initiative to start conversations and build relationships. On the other hand, passive attendees wait for other people to approach them.
Engaging business networkers are confident and enthusiastic about what they do. They’re not afraid to share their ideas and opinions with others. Passive attendees may hesitate to speak up and contribute to the conversation.
Engaging business networkers pay attention to what others are saying and show genuine interest by asking open-ended questions. Passive attendees may end up talking only about themselves.
Engaging business networkers make it a point to get in touch with people they meet after networking events. They send personalized follow-up emails and connect on LinkedIn to stay in touch. In contrast, passive attendees won’t follow up with the people they meet.
How Can You Be Engaging While Business Networking as a Financial Advisor?
Now that you know more about networking for financial advisors, it’s time to touch upon some tips and tricks that’ll help you be more engaging while networking.
1. Be Yourself.
The first tip is to be yourself. Don’t try to put on a facade. People can tell when you’re not being real, and it can be a turnoff. Instead, be authentic and let your personality shine through. Showing authenticity will make it easier for you to build meaningful relationships with people.
Here are a few ways to be yourself while networking:
Dress appropriately, but don’t shy away from showing your personal style.
Use FROG questions to learn more about people you are meeting.
Use your own words and phrases instead of industry jargon.
Share your hobbies and interests.
Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability.
Being yourself can help you stand out from the rest and leave a lasting impression on people. It can also help you attract clients who share your values and interests.
2. Listen More Than You Talk.
The second tip is to listen more than you talk. People love talking about themselves, so you should let them. Ask open-ended questions that allow people to talk at length. Doing this will help you build rapport with people and make them feel valued.
Here are a few ways to listen more than you talk while networking:
Ask open-ended questions. Instead of asking yes or no questions, ask questions that need a more detailed response. For instance, instead of asking someone whether they like their job, ask them what they like about their job.
Show genuine interest. When someone’s talking, please give them your full attention. Don’t look around the room or check your phone.
Paraphrase what they say. After someone’s done talking, paraphrase what they said to show that you were listening and that you understood what they said.
Don’t interrupt. Let people finish what they’re saying before you respond.
3. Be Prepared.
The third tip is to be prepared. Before you attend any networking event, do your research. Some things you may want to look up include who will be attending and what they do. Researching beforehand will help you prepare some questions to ask and make it easier to start a conversation.
Here are a few ways to prepare for a networking event:
Research the event. As mentioned earlier, find out who will attend and what they do.
Prepare your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a short summary of what you do and how you can help people. You’re going to want to prepare a 30-second version of your elevator pitch that you can whip out when someone asks what you do.
Bring business cards. Make sure you have a good amount of business cards to hand out. This will make it easier for people to contact you and connect with you after the event.
Dress appropriately. Dress appropriately for the event. If you’re not sure what to wear, ask the event organizer.
Take notes on your phone: Be sure to bring a pen and paper to take notes or, you may opt to take notes on your phone. Either way, you’ll need a way to help you remember important details about the people you meet.
The fourth tip is to follow up. Once the event is over, be sure to follow up with the people you met. You may do this by sending them an email or a LinkedIn message to thank them for their time and see if they’re interested in meeting again.
Here are a few ways to follow up after a networking event:
Send a personalized message. Don’t send a generic message to everyone you meet. Instead, take time to craft a personalized message that mentions something you talked about.
Mention the next steps. If you talked about meeting again or working together, mention that in your message. Doing so will help keep the conversation going.
Connect on LinkedIn. Connect on LinkedIn with the people you meet. By connecting with them, you’ll allow yourself to stay in touch with them and stay up-to-date with their activities.
5. Be Patient.
The last tip is to be patient. Building a robust professional network takes time, so don’t expect to see results right away. It can take months to build strong relationships with people.
Here are some ways to be patient while networking:
Set realistic expectations. Don’t expect results immediately. Keep your expectations realistic, and be patient.
Keep in touch. As mentioned earlier, stay in touch with the people you meet. Send them an email or a LinkedIn message every few months to see how they’re doing.
Be persistent. Don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately. Continue attending events and meeting new people.
I hope these tips help you be more engaging while networking and have more fruitful networking experiences.
If you’re interested in learning other ways to grow your business and reach your goals as a financial advisor, check out the other blog posts on my website. If you need more specific help, don’t hesitate to contact me today to request a consultation.