The Marketers Club Podcast
The Art of Networking Like a Pro - with Braith Bamkin

What sort of Networker are you? Does the very idea of attending a networking event send a shiver down your spine, or you excited by the prospect of meeting new people?

Regardless whether you love or loath it, there's no doubt, that it can be a hugely benefical activity to master for your business. In episode 15 Paul talks to Braith Bamkin, a master networker who shares some brilliant insights on how to network successfully.

If you want to know how to make the most of every networking opportunity in the future, this session is a must listen.

#15 The Art of Networking Like a Pro
How to build profitable trust based relationships
Episode #15 Running time 45:09
Show Notes:

00:00:00:06 - 00:01:31:14
Paul: You know I don't think it really matters what sort of industry we operating in. I think that we're all ultimately in the same business. We are in the relationship building business. Part of our role is to build trust based relationships to build a level of trust with people where they feel comfortable enough to introduce us to other people in their networks. Referral based business is a huge part of growing. What it is that we do and referrals really only flow from trusted relationships. So we're going to build more trust based relationships. One of the most effective ways we can do that is to start to become much better networkers to get out and connect with other people who need to know what it is that we do and really develop quality relationships with them that will lead to future business opportunities. So I've asked Braith Bamkin and who is a master networker to share with me some of the insights that he teaches people about how to network effectively now Braith's so passionate about the art of networking that he purchased a territory in the world's largest professional network. So he knows everything you need to know about how to network well how to really get the full juice out of this activity to make it a really profitable activity for your business but also a really rewarding one. So this is a fantastic conversation that we've had keen to share all the secrets that Bryce shared with me through our chat. So let's get to it. But first here's the intro.

00:01:42:05 - 00:01:57:16
Warick: Welcome to the marketers club podcast the show all about helping you work smarter earn more and accelerate your success. And now here's your host Paul McCarthy.

00:02:00:27 - 00:03:40:18
Paul: So welcome to Episode 15 of the markets club podcast I am your host Paul McCarthy and I'm here to help you market your talent so you can earn what you're worth and ultimately make more of a difference in the world. Great to have you here for another episode. Really looking forward to sharing this conversation with you. What sort a network are you. Do you really look forward to the opportunity of networking or does it send a little bit of a sense of dread through your body to you. Are you the person that stands in the corner feeling really uncomfortable and unsure who to talk to you the person that gravitates always to your group of friends that you know and is locked into them. Or are you really good at navigating your way through new environments connecting with new people. Hopefully you're not one of those people that you know sort of just jumps on you and starts to sell you from the moment they draw breath but breath will share with you all the insights about how to do this stuff really really well. He is a master networker. He's made a living out of showing people how to network effectively. So I couldn't think of anyone better to get on the line to share some insights with you and help you to improve the way that you network. Because of course we can burn inordinate amounts of time in business doing things that simply aren't going to produce any business or we can get really smart strategic deliberate and do things that really are going to in the long term pay big big dividends for your business. And I have no question that quality networkers are people that enjoy great success because they really don't just look about what they can get. They look about what they can give how they can assist others and that's a big part of success as you'll learn from Braith.

00:03:45:18 - 00:03:49:11
Paul: Welcome to the markets club podcast. Fantastic to have you with me today.

00:03:49:27 - 00:04:00:18
Braith: Thank you so much. Paul it's a real treat to be on here talking to you. Someone who I have admired for a long time but know I'm a fanboy so we won't go into that.

00:04:01:18 - 00:04:39:01
Paul: Well look that's very kind of it. I know that you have just so much knowledge to share and you've been helping so many entrepreneurs particularly you know one of the areas in terms of helping them to network more effectively. And I know that's a big part of business success for a lot of people getting out and how they build relationships how they generate referrals through those connections and you're a master at doing that. But you are an executive director of BNI so for people who aren't familiar with being I and and maybe your backstory of how you got involved can you maybe just give us a quick snapshot of who is BNI. What does it do and how did you get involved.

00:04:39:09 - 00:06:20:20
Braith: Sure right. So BNI stands for Business Networking International it's the world's largest professional referral generates a generation organization in the world. So this year we're celebrating 34 years in operations so that's a pretty serious amount of time for any business. And the premise of being I is to help members generate referrals through word of mouth. So whilst we are essentially a big networking organisation the name of the game really is to help our members generate referrals. I got involved around 10 years ago. I was the national sales and marketing manager for our company called a real sleep solutions and I bought one of the franchises and I was telling all the other franchisees in my capacity as sales manager that you need to get out a network. And of course I wasn't doing it myself. I had been a very active network for most of my adult life. And I got invited the very next day after that sales meeting after one of my team called me out and said Well where do you network. And I got a lot of want to be I and off I went. And I was pretty much sold from the first time I walked in the door. So I was in the chapter each group called the chapter in Brighton. And after six months I realized how good it was for my business. And eventually I stepped up to be a director of the organization. Then subsequently I've bought the Melbourne central region and I have been an executive director for the last five years.

00:06:20:23 - 00:07:17:29
Paul: So you've been working closely with lots of entrepreneurs and your your group has lots of chapters and therefore lots of business owners within it. So in terms of making the most of these opportunities whether it's through being I or any opportunity when we get to connect with other entrepreneurs we want to generate these connections these relationships that can generate referral business let people know who we are what we do and how well we do it. So I know that a lot of people invest a lot of time into doing this but I think a lot of people waste a lot of time doing it because they don't do it efficiently effectively so that's why I was keen to get you want to really shine a light on some of the strategies that will allow us to do this a little bit more effectively. So can you. I know that you have a whole structure that you teach her and you think generous enough to get and share that with us. Walk us through the steps of what we need to to make this this process an effective one for us.

00:07:18:06 - 00:09:31:00
Braith: Well if you don't mind I'm gonna take you back in time a bit. When I first started out in my paid working life. I know I was a newly employed sales rep in the commercial textile industry and I had a boss in Sydney I was living in Sydney at the time and we were going to our very first meeting in the city and I remember driving across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and she said to me Braith if you're going to be successful in this industry you need to learn how to network. Now, I was 20 something a long time ago. I knew everything but of course I knew nothing that gender. I didn't know what networking meant. So I spent the entire day trying to work out what she meant and then as we drove back across the bridge I said to her Judith that's what is networking. And she said Look I'm really glad that you asked. And then she spent the next couple of weeks teaching me how to network and how to extract value out of those relationships and the very first thing she said to me was it's building relationships and seeing how you can help other people before you seek to extract any value out of that relationship yourself. So she sort of compared it to the bank account you want to make a lot of deposits before you build enough equity up there to start taking out some of the interest that you build up from those relationships. And I think that's a really good starting point for anyone who wants to go out and network because I know a lot of network people go out networking and they're looking to extract value from the get go. And most people feel disillusioned from going to networking events because they don't get anything from it. And I always say when I teach this program how many people go to a networking event to buy something and very few hands go up and then I say so how many of you are going to a networking event hoping somebody is going to buy from you. And of course most people put their hands up and then I point out the obvious disconnect there that if we're all going there hoping that somebody is going to buy something from us and yet no one else is there to buy then we're all at odds. So that's the starting point.

00:09:31:02 - 00:09:48:22
Paul: Thanks for setting that frame that's great so. So where do we go from there so if we if we're going with the right intention we're going to serve we're going to be generous and say how we can help somebody before we get something from. What are some of the key strategies that you say that make people more effective in this space.

00:09:48:26 - 00:12:21:24
Braith: Well the first thing that you do for any meeting that you've got to Paul is you've got to work out what is the objective of that meeting whether it's a networking event a business meeting a marketing strategy session whatever you're going in to sit down to what is the objective of that meeting. My experience is that the majority of people turn up to a networking event with absolutely no objective. They've just going there because they know they've got a network people tell you that you've got a networking somehow we all know inherently that networking is part of business ownership and entrepreneurship. But if you're not going there with the intent and you're just rocking up then you're pretty much wasting your time as you would with any business meeting that you attend. So I always start by saying what is it that you want to achieve by going to a networking event. Sometimes it's simply engaging with people that you already know and that might be a social event. And then that's completely okay. And so maybe the objective is to strengthen your social relationships and really that's just going and having a good time so that that's a worthwhile endeavor. But if you're looking to grow your network then you need to think about what it is that you want to achieve out of every networking event. So I like to to start with that premise because referrals the name of the game. But that's the end point. It's not the starting point and a networking event really is the very beginning of you building a relationship with a potential new referral partner. So think about who you want to meet and how you want to meet them and what it is that you want to to achieve over the life of that relationship. Having said that if you're if you're going into that room with an objective you need to have some stuff to support you. So you need to have some tools so like again any business meeting if you don't have the right tools with you if you don't have your your agenda with you if you don't have your meeting notes your spreadsheets or whatever it is that you need to support that meeting you're not going to maximise the value of that meeting. And I think this is where people often let themselves down is they don't have the tools with and the very first thing you gotta rock up with is business cards. I like to have my own name badge. How many meetings have you been having networking events if you've been to where you ask somebody for a business card and they say look I've just dropped out which basically means I actually never brought them with me in the first place. You've done that haven't you. How many times you've done that. And what did you think of that person. What do you think of them all.

00:12:21:28 - 00:12:33:09
Paul: Everything is marketing. That's a moment of truth where you get a sence of being a little disorganized or a little so. It certainly plants the potential negative frame in you brain straight away.

00:12:34:02 - 00:14:59:06
Braith: A book that I absolutely love is called the slight edge by Jeff Olsen and I don't know if you're familiar with that ball but it's a really great book and I really recommend yourself and your listeners to get into it. But I'll give you that. That's the sum total of it in a couple of seconds but essentially what he talks about is everything in your business and your life is the sum total of little tiny things that's the one percenters. So Jeff talked about you know if you don't go to the gym tomorrow Hey look you're not going to be overweight the next day. But if you don't go every day or every couple of days for the next three or four years and you eat a lot of food obviously you're not you're not going to look to crash hot and feel to crash out in several years time. So it's the sum total of all the 1 percent. If you turn if you show up and I know you will you're good about showing up you're all about showing up but if you show up all the time and you do those little ones the 1 percent is that you teach in markets club then you know the sum total of that at the end. It's like compounding interest. It really adds up. So really having those one percenters makes a big difference. But coming back to the tool one of the things that I really want to share with you that I think has real impact. And I know you're all about marketing and everything is marketing is having a name badge your name badge that's a plastic one with metallic magnetic background that you can put on your own shirt or jacket. And the reason why I like that is because when I turn up to an event I have my name badge with my own branding and my name is clear. And it's easy to raid already I'm getting my branding out there and I'm demonstrating to people that I'm prepared and see you know those second line badges for how many conferences and events might have you been to where those things end up on the floor. And that's you know you're meeting a lot of people you want to remember people's names so having your own name badge is just a really powerful way to set yourself up as a really simple network and a hot tip off tip is where it on your white side lets people stick their name badges on the left side but you wear it on your right side because if you're going to shake somebody whose hand you can discreetly look at their name badge without people catching that you're writing a name badge. Sorry if I forgot somebody whose name I was going to shake your hand. You hold out your right hand you can sort of nudge ahead gently down you can read their name badge job done. I don't actually have to guess you know. So there's a hot tip for you.

00:14:59:15 - 00:15:42:26
Paul: Oh I love that. I love that pride tip. That's that's fantastic. And you can see we've only been talking for a few minutes but it becomes really evident to people why somebody is good at something because they put in that little bit of extra effort. They they approach it with a little more professionalism and all of a sudden you become a standout player at something you demonstrated a degree of professionalism that nobody else is displaying around you and so that's really helpful. That's a great tip in the book you reference the slight edge. We'll get the details and I'll put that in the show. So people said right. I want to reference that. Thank you fun. That's fantastic. I guess I will get some some powerful tools. We'll get some pro tips about how we set ourselves up correctly where do we get from their.

00:15:43:06 - 00:17:36:17
Braith: Look you've got to know how many people you want to meet at an event. So if you're going to go to a networking event you want to build a network. So you want to engage with people. If you're just going to be at a chapter you might say Oh that's great. So you might start. Don't worry about anything else but if you're going there to meet new people you need to meet new people it's very easy to get caught up with chatting to your mates or the people that you know or the people that you've met previously. But if you if you're really intentional about growing your network you need to set a goal. So I'd say to people roughly an hour's worth of network looking at meeting three people for three people doesn't sound like a lot but you're spending 10 minutes with each with each of those people. So you'd expect that three is a reasonable number that you can can engage with. So if you set yourself a goal of meeting three three people don't leave until you've met that goal. And it's a really easy way to set yourself up as an expert networker by telling people how been really great talking to people I've really enjoyed meeting you. But I set myself a goal to meet three new people here tonight. Can you either introduce me to somebody else or I would like to go and introduce myself to somebody else which is a great way to extricate yourself from a conversation that you may not wish to be continuing much longer. People like then at you as a rule conducting a professional hey this is somebody I want to get to know. Because they're really intentional about wanting to grow their network so you elevate yourself in their mind they perceive you as somebody really worth getting to know this person must have a great network. They know how to do networking so if you're in an event for an entire day I think 12 people is quite a reasonable amount to get to engage with. But don't overdo it. And if it's your first time and you're new at this set yourself a goal of one person right. Pick one person but don't go into that event and leave before you've met your goal it's like anything in business. If you if you don't practice this you won't get the outcome.

00:17:36:21 - 00:18:43:07
Paul: What I'm hearing is spend some time and build some meaningful engagement with somebody don't just go shuffling out cards to everybody with a heartbeat and and quickly exchanging and having no discussion so it's not about just collecting business cards you're talking about having a meaningful conversation with a small group of people so you actually get to know them. Think about my my days as a musician when I'd finish a gig and you know people have been well lubricated come talk to me and I'd think man this is the last thing I want. I'm not enjoying the conversation set in a networking professional connections in environment. Are you suggesting that no matter what I should just stay with the person. Take the 10 minutes and work my way through in case I've maybe misjudged them or I assume that you and as I have and probably everyone listening has been connected to someone or started a conversation with someone and as soon as you started he said oh no this is gonna be hard work so I mean you've given us a great strategy in terms of how we extricate ourselves from conversations which I think is brilliant side. What's your take there. Do we stick it out even if it's not what we thought it was gonna be.

00:18:43:12 - 00:20:17:06
Braith: I think that every person on the planet is interesting and they have a story and sometimes we're very quick to make judgments on other people and it's generally people who aren't skilled in social interaction and they're the people that do the verbal dance when they dump stuff facts figures stuff about their industrial life or they're the people that sell you or buy or they start to talk about stuff that you have zero interest in. But the reality is Paul you actually can control the conversation very intentionally if you know how and the why to do that is to ask open ended questions and to steer the conversation in the direction that you want to go and you can find something interesting about any person that you meet if you control the conversation. So I talk about in the book that I know you're going to share with your listeners that you know two years and one mouth use and proportionately you know a few if you ask good open ended questions and direct them to where you want to go. You can find some great stuff out about them you know what is it that you love about your business people love to talk about what got them into their business and what I love about their business and what passionate about their business and listening to people's passion. It's it's very easy to listen to people's passion driving in that direction and start listening. At the end of the day Paul some people are just not good conversationalists and you just have to say. Great meeting you might. I've set myself a goal of meeting three people who are the first person I've met tonight really enjoyed having a chat to look forward to seeing what this event next time and move on. And I'm very intentional about that and people respect you for that.

00:20:17:15 - 00:20:30:09
Paul: I love that piece of advice I get. So we've set a target. We've got round maybe three people in mind. We've built some good connections engage in conversation what one other things that we need to think about in terms of making this a success for ourselves.

00:20:30:25 - 00:23:09:04
Braith: A lot of people turn up to networking events and they are uncomfortable and one of the things that I say that can absolutely change your entire experience at any networking event is changing the way you view your position in that room. So I like to talk about the concept of acting like a host and not a guest. And if I say to people what do you do when someone comes into your home as as a visitor. What do you do to them and you obviously greet them. You tell them where the bathrooms are where the bathroom is where to get a drink. You introduce them to other people and you're basically taking control of that conversation. So you're really you really change your mindset by having that host mentality. You don't have to be the host in a room to actually act like a host. And it really gives you a confidence. So when I talk to people who are very nervous about networking and I say I just think about this as a an opportunity for you to be the highest in the room getting there and really change the entire vibe that you give out to other people it gives you a level of confidence and everyone knows how to make people feel welcome in their home or their workplace. So know when you put that into your mindset you can really very easily change the entire experience for yourself and those around you but the people that I absolutely love to engage with the people who are disengaged from the room and they're usually the people that you see sitting around the sides around the edges of the room that tapping on their farm pretending to do emails. But usually they're playing Candy Crush because they're very uncomfortable in that environment and these people are usually very keen to engage with you and they're often not boring and they're often just really nervous because this is the first time I've been there. And I often go up to those people. I go Oh sorry am I interrupting are you in the middle of something important or are you a newbie here. And nine times out of ten they'll say Oh look I'm new here and instantly the fine goes into their pocket and they're just absolutely relieved that somebody is engaging with them and those people are the most interesting people in the room because you can have really great conversations with them and they're really interested in engaging with you. And as I said you can ask open ended questions. And then when it's time to move on you can introduce them to somebody that you know or somebody else that might be new and you can start a conversation and all of a sudden you change your vibrational level from being a person that's a spectator to actually being somebody in that room who's in control of themselves and the situation around them. And yet I'm a size person can have that experience and I really encourage people to do it.

00:23:09:24 - 00:23:51:09
Paul: I love that piece of advice and I love the idea of just stepping ourselves out of our comfort zone to pushing ourselves to to step up and take a lead and demonstrate confidence and we know in so many areas of life that if you act with confidence then people respond that way. So it's a great learning for us. You touched on a little earlier which I'd love to come back to in two ears one mouth such as networking in terms of listening and questioning process you also mentioned earlier about open ended questions so what are the what are some of the strategies or ways for us to be better listeners and better communicators better question ask us and when we're at networking

00:23:51:25 - 00:26:09:21
Braith: I think it's funny that you talk about this because a lot of people say when they meet me after they've met me that's how you you're really fascinating and you're really interesting and I think to myself will probably set about 30 words in that entire interaction but they were all questions that I asked about you and people love talking about themselves and if you can find things that people are passionate about they really open up and it's interesting listening to people being passionate. So I ask things like what was it that got you into this business in the first place. What is it that you love about your business the most. What's the biggest challenge or headache you have in your business. What's the greatest opportunity that you're not leveraging your business you find out amazing stuff about people that just blows your mind. I mean I hear stories of identified a nation the market because of something that happened in my personal life. And those are amazing conversations and you need to engage with people when they're talking to you. So you need to look in their eyes and actually I'm really going to give you guys another hot tip. A lot of people find it very difficult to look in people's eyes especially when they're new in a relationship or they've just met. So if you look at somebody as the bridge of their nose right between their eyes just sort of wear your glasses sort of sit above that you can actually look at that point on someone's face and you don't actually look into their eyes and they can't tell so they think you're looking straight into their eyes. You don't want to stare like a crazy person but you know you want to blink every now and then move your head around. But if you look there you can actually quite comfortably look at somebody in the face for quite a long period of time without discomfort. Obviously you're going to nod. Obviously you are going to do some non-verbal acknowledgement of what they're doing has as well as nonverbal. And yes I say and tell me more about that a really great question or how did you find that. Really good questions to ask people. So keep that conversation going and people respond to those people who are fully engaged with them so they will like you. And we hear that people make up their minds about whether they like you or not. You know I don't know what they say these days 30 seconds away over the years but you know if you look in someone's eyes and you're fully present and you really are listening to them you're not scanning the room for someone more interesting you to find some really great stuff out about someone.

00:26:09:26 - 00:26:39:07
Paul: And I think that's a key point to really be with a person. I think we've all suffered that experience of talking to somebody and they were looking everywhere but with you and you think clearly on wasting your time so we'll move on shall we say. But yeah that's a great learning for us. You know obviously one of the challenges here is many people go into networking environments with the wrong intent. So how should we be arriving what what's our business mindset that we should be bringing to these opportunities.

00:26:39:09 - 00:27:46:01
Braith: Well I I love the fact that you say business mindset because you've got to think about these networking events as business meetings so it's a business meeting. How do you show up at a business meeting. Are you prepared with your business cards if you've got a name badge you prepared with your goal for that. Not every people you want to make queued up with those open ended questions that you can ask somebody that you don't know. Do you know that the running sheet of the night. What's going to happen for the night. If you meet somebody who's brand new you can explain to them what's what's going to go on tonight. People are very appreciative of that. I also suggest that that booze and networking can be an interesting conversation. I'm not a teetotaller but I put I personally prefer not to drink at networking events because drinking tends to sort of change the way in which you relate to people if you dare for a social occasion. That's great. But you know if you really want to be fully present with someone you limit the amount of booze that you go for you sit on that one glass. Don't go crazy on that because then you can be fully present because again in a business meeting you know boozing up in your office. So you don't go boozing up because we've all been trapped with all boozed up people at networking events and not not fun to be around.

00:27:46:21 - 00:27:52:10
Paul: No not never again great advice. Just again striking it as a professional environments

00:27:54:13 - 00:29:15:27
Braith: People judge you from you know he's that like you got hammered the last time we were here. You know that's not like you don't wanna be known as that but not that you would be cool. But you know people don't want to be somebody that they know is that person. But you know whatever. The other thing that people often do when I go to a networking event sees them when they're talking about their business site might easily fall into jargon and that's what bothers people a lot. You know you hear people talking about their business and they get into really a deep jargen and talk and no one cares about the latest interest rate change and how it's going to affect you unless you're particularly in the market for a mortgage so you know keep your industry speak to an absolute minimum but be specific about what you do. Ultimately it's a two way conversation. So you've got to be able. So let's do the conversation in a direction where you get to talk about yourself as well so you know it's not all about listening to somebody else for a tribe and you know it's 15 20 minutes it's like what they do. Back to your business so you can actually if you are a host you can control that conversation and you can say well that's really interesting. I know how that has affected my business or when you ask somebody what got them into their business and I talk about that. So that's really interesting. I had a similar experience and that's when you start to work out whether that person is somebody who is really worth pursuing a relationship with because if it is all about them you know move on. At some point in time

00:29:16:09 - 00:29:31:00
Paul: Now you talk about the principles of whether people are farming for business or hunting for business and such. So walk us through I guess that mindset of what we need to be thinking about in terms of the way we turn out.

00:29:31:15 - 00:31:41:25
Braith: Yeah. So I think I'm I'm gathering the most people on this podcast and probably been to a networking event at some point in their life. And I've been trapped by that person who is absolutely hammering them on trying to buy from them and they're in full sales more than they're really trying to sell you their business or trying to set up an appointment for you know a sales call and they're really talking at you and they're the people in the room that are the hunters and we all know those people and they're the people that we tend to say are self centered or it's all about them. So you go away from that conversation and say oh that person was all about her she wasn't really interested in listening to me and that doesn't set that person up for a future relationship. So you know this is a long term prospect. Networking it's really about sowing the seeds in your network to actually write the harvest later on. So you've got to think about how this takes time to build your network so there's a guy called Robin Dunbar who a social theorist that talks about the social theory of cognitive connections that we can make and he says that we have around about 150 to 180 people that we can maintain a level of relationship with. And so he breaks that down and you get into inner circles of 50 more trusted people 15 quite highly trusting people with five you know when you're in a circle. And so if you're wanting to put more people into your trusted network into that from you know the outer circle into that one fifty or the 50 closer people you know that takes time and the mechanism that moves you from quaintness to trusting person is is trust and trust does not happen overnight. So if you think about this as a long term gig how you can provide value for other people and how you can build a relationship a long term you do you'll build a pretty strong network and it doesn't take much effort to start building relationships with new people that have whole new networks that you can access because every time we meet a new person we're accessing them one hundred and fifty to one hundred and eighty people. You know you really have access to a whole new group of people you put 40 people in a room two steps from removed. You got a city the size of Adelaide you have two steps removed from it.

00:31:43:19 - 00:32:16:13
Paul: Six degrees of separation that an idea that we're not that far away from the people we need if we take the time to build those relationships and I think that networking clearly like any aspect of marketing is that many people rushing they are trying to get from coal to salt. Way too quickly and not allowing the relationship to develop and mature in a natural way. So how important is it right for us to be referral givers if we hope to be referral receivers.

00:32:16:24 - 00:34:08:12
Braith: So I think referral givers are great and you can give a referral when you trust someone. No I would not give anyone a referral until I trust them and I'm a fairly trusting person so if it's a low value referral or not met you a number of times and I'm quite quite comfortable to start referring low value network referrals as the value of that referral starts increasing my degree of trust with you needs to be a lot higher before I start opening up my network because if I give you a referral to somebody in my trusted network your one purpose would with that referral is to make me look good because it's the role that the law of reciprocity if you make me look good. Basically it's very Pavlovian you teaching me to do the same thing again. So I'm going to do that referral for you again but you don't have to give referrals to be a great networker and there are a lot of things that you can do to help other people that have high perceived value. For example I spoke about the slight edge before with Jeff all since I talked about a book that has been relevant in my business career. You might talk about a course that coming up that you're going to or I'm not coming event. I know you guys run your marketing club events so I certainly know I was at your event recently and I certainly had a lot of people from my network. They're very happy to tell them to come along makes me look good. You do a great job when you do the marketers club. People perceive me as having added value to their life because I've introduced them to you and the information that you give. So it's about building credibility for yourself. So I love to be able to help people in different ways not always the referrals so books articles that I've read or written things that I'm attending are courses that I've done there's a lot of courses online so there's many many ways you can give value to people in the in your network.

00:34:08:26 - 00:35:27:20
Paul: Again great advice and thank you for coming along and always being so generous and sharing what we do and bringing people to our events or encouraging them to attend the events and we're always thrilled that they have a good time and as you say there is a sense of responsibility when anybody refers somebody in my direction for whatever purpose that that person has a good experience and that it does reflect positively on whoever sent that people in my direction which is always appreciate it. So that's part of it is making sure that you take care of those people on their way. So we've covered a bunch of grants so let's wrap up in some of these final thoughts in terms of strategies to improve the quality of the outcomes from our networking efforts. When we're out there because this is a I mean that's one of the things I think obviously for entrepreneurs to pay attention to is their time is a valuable resource and so we need to be using it wisely and and creating increased value for our business through that site. Networking does take time. So we want to make sure we're doing it well and and getting maximum traction for our business out of it. So over the last couple of thoughts in terms of ways to really do this as a true professional.

00:35:28:04 - 00:38:41:02
Braith: So obviously going to the event is the start but you've got to follow up for a lot of people will go to an event they get a whole pile of business cards. I'm sitting at my desk now I went to an event last night. I've got half an hour slotted in later on this morning to follow up the people that I have with these business cards getting business cards for the sake which is a waste of time it becomes recycle. Follow up follow up with a phone call follow an email follow up with anything you've promised if I promise to book Follow that reference up keep got follow up and have a CRM system because I made a lot of people throughout the course of the year if I don't have a CRM system to take notes on what we talked about what I promised what what the next steps are. You know there's no point in doing it so I often like to set up coffee meetings with people that I'm really interested in pursuing a relationship and I actually do that at the event because people often say let's have a coffee and you know nine times out of ten. That means like great to talk to you later but I'd really like to set up a coffee meeting with you and have more of a chat which is a great way to get out of our conversation and if you have a goal of three or four people to meet and you want to continue that conversation. You set up that meeting there and then get out. You find it's a modern world we can put straight into our diary. But the next day I absolutely have half an hour in your diary to follow up those people if I can say one thing that has made a massive difference for me is a handwritten note. I go down to the two dollar shop about box of 10 cards and I right out thank you cards to some of the people that not everyone I meet because that would be hard but the people I really want to pursue a relationship with. I'll thank them for great meeting them last night. Here's a link to that course we were talking about people are blown away when they get a handwritten card in the mail or send out cards and that cards it would be just as good but a stamped hand for the card. You know your credibility goes through the roof. So follow up because you know that relationship is going to take six seven eight touch points before you know you really are in the inner circle of your network. So you need to put the effort in and a lot of people just simply don't follow up after they've met someone. But the other thing I'd say is that as a marketing expert Paul you probably agree with me on this. You don't know your target market and you can't articulate to the network that you're building who you want to connect with and a really clear fashion then you really are wasting your time because when you're building relationships and you want to try and extract value out of that relationship people need to understand who it is that you want to do business with and how can they connect you because most of us want to help other people if we know how to do that. But if we're not clear on the help that we want then we can't possibly expect people to help us so we don't follow up with meetings and coffee meetings with people. I'm very clear to to get into that conversation with sort of people I'm looking to get connect with now I'm very upfront and I know I'd like to get to know you better and if you know people in this area I'd be really interested in meeting with them. Do it in a subtle and casual way. And I know over time as people trust you they start to open up their networks to you.

00:38:41:04 - 00:39:30:22
Paul: Great advice and I think so many points you touched on there in terms of the following up. Well following up professionally having a customer management system in the background that you are putting data into and building a database you know these are vitally important tools and I would agree I think most people and certainly this happens in network but most people just make themselves very difficult to buy because they're not clear on who they serve. They're not talking to people about the problem that they can help. And therefore people just lose or focus on what they are. And I think we've all been at a networking event and you say to somebody say what do you do. And the answer comes back. Look it's it's complicated. You. Okay. It's gonna be complicated for you to win business then so. So if you can't articulate it then we've got a big problem right.

00:39:30:24 - 00:40:12:09
Braith: There's the other one Paul I'll say to you that I think that most people get caught in is my customer is anyone who needs I or anyone who wants as serious as anyone or someone who basically saying I don't know what I want. So I'm just going to spray and pray. So you'd be really clear about the more specific you are about who you want to be connect with and what problem you've got to solve for then the easier it is. People just seem to be afraid to get that specific and I know that you work very hard in markets club to get people to be really specific about who they want to work with and why. And that's obviously the cage to to marketing and of course networking is another part of the marketing toolkit

00:40:12:18 - 00:41:07:24
Paul: And this is the point that we do talk about a lot is it does feel counterintuitive but yes the reality is that if you continue to talk about everything and everybody then nobody really connects. So we do need to get narrow and specific so Braith. Always a pleasure chatting to you my friend I know that you're about to jaunt off to the seas and have a holiday as well as go and do some work and a big event that you've got coming up. So I really thank you for making the time to join me today share some of your wisdom as you so generously do always. And now if people want to get in contact with you and they want to connect and learn more from you if they want to get involved in your BNI network in the area that you control in central Melbourne and or if they want to even know about how to get connected to other areas what's the best way for them to reach out to you.

00:41:08:03 - 00:41:44:12
Braith: Look I know you've got listeners from all around so I'm not going to limit it just to my areas or the best place for them to go is to the BNI Australia website, so and you can jump in there and look for a group near you. Obviously I run the Melbourne central area and you're very welcome to come along as a visitor to any of the 22 chapters that we run. But there are BNIs all around Australia so and I know you have an international race course all around the world as well so I'll get onto the base global website. It's very easy to find a chapter near you and get along and visit and they love to have visitors. So you always very welcome.

00:41:44:22 - 00:41:50:23
Paul: Great mate. Well thanks again for joining me. Safe. Safe travels and I look forward to catching up with you again soon.

00:41:51:09 - 00:41:51:27
Braith: Thanks Paul.

00:41:52:19 - 00:44:52:13
Paul: So I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Bryce bank and I think there's a lot of value in there for all of us. Lots of messages about not simply about networking but some of the strategies that you can be using to grow a business and I think that often we are playing too fast. We are trying to get to the sale too quickly and business is about the longer game as well we've got to take the time to really cultivate quality relationships to people and really come with a heart of generosity we've got to have a spirit of being a giver first. How can we serve and help others. I think one of the great barriers to generating business is that we ourselves are not generous enough and not referring enough people on and letting them into our networks and I think that's where it really starts. We've got to have that spirit of generosity be there to serve first. And I think the more people you serve. I think that's when the magic really starts to happen. So I hope you enjoyed that episode. I certainly got lots of value out of talking with Bryce as I always do. He's a ripping guy and if you are interested I'd I'd certainly encourage you to think about joining a BNI network they are all over the world and they are the world's largest professional network for small business owners I've had the great privilege and pleasure to speak on their platforms at national conferences and events wonderful groups of people that get together and really help each other grow great little businesses and turn them into big businesses so they are a fantastic group to connect with and you're always welcome to get there as a guest so I'd really encourage you to think about doing that and getting along to being on network and checking it out and seeing if it's a good fit for you. So that's the best way to find out what I wanted to say thanks to everyone who's been subscribing to the program and I hope that you're enjoying what we're what we're bringing to you and I'm going to continue to seek out the very best advice that I can for you the best experts that I know keep bringing them to share their insights with you and help you to grow your business of course. If you are enjoying the program if you haven't subscribed please do. It's always great if you can take the time to leave comments and feedback that helps the show in terms of its rating and of course if you're truly enjoying it and you really want to help the show to grow then please share it share it with people in your network let it out into the world and recommend it to people that you know it's a free resource that can really hopefully help a lot of people to build their businesses and that is my aim with putting the show together. So if you want to help the show to expand and you're enjoying it then please share it with someone you know and let me help them start to grow a healthy business as well. So thanks again for joining me this week. I look forward to joining you next week with another episode of the markets club podcast. Until then I wish you all the very very best with your business. But much more importantly with your lives. Take care. Bye for now.

To learn more about Braith Bamkin you can visit his website
You learn more about BNI (Business Network International) at there website
Referenced in the session The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen
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