Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cultivating a Networking Farm

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

I was in the real estate business for 23 years. When I first started I focused on making new relationships with all the people who lived within a radius of 1 mile from my own home. Eventually I knew who lived in every home in the area, when they bought, how many times it had sold, etc. It took a lot of research and many hours of visiting each individual neighbor. This was before computers and the internet – info was logged on index cards. I sent hundreds of personally addressed letters to everyone introducing myself, then followed up with a personal visit.

Those relationships built over time and paid off handsomely with many home listings in my own neighborhood which converted into great commission checks when the homes sold. I called this area my “Listing Farm.” The first year in real estate I was the top agent in my company with the most listings sold, the most sales and overall the top salesman in a group of 65+ agents. I published the first article (Cultivating a Listing Farm) ever on this subject in “Real Estate Today,” the National Association of Realtors® national magazine in 1975.

NETfarmI had my own door-to-door very small business when I was 10 years old. I started networking as a preteen long before it was ever called “networking.” They called it the “good ol’ boys club” and was defined loosely as anyone who willing to help anyone anytime. A good ol’ boy was one you know you can always count on and he lives his life by his word. The term Good Ol’ Boys Club is refering to the “brotherhood” that a Good Ol’ Boy belongs. Just as the Marines are the few and the proud, so are the members of the Good Ol’ Boys Club.

My first encounter with the good ol’ boys club was sitting in the barbers chair listening to a group of older men (usually farmers) exchanging farming ideas and tips – where to buy the cheapest grain or where to get the best deal when selling their livestock. We didn’t call it networking back then.

Networking is about also about farming. It’s about “cultivating” relationships – cultivating connections with others you can help and who can help you in your pursuit of a referral-based business, financial gain, business ideas, etc. For many years I have applied the concept of cultivating a listing farm to business networking. Just as I cultivated relationships with people in my neighborhood, I have done the same thing by attending numerous groups and getting to know a wide variety of people in many professions. If you want a great plumber, Realtor®, etc., I have one to refer to you and your friends.

“Use networking opportunities to meet people. Then, schedule additional times to connect, so you can build the trust that will allow you to ask for business.” ~ Ivan Misner

Networking takes a lot of attention to detail. It’s about making connections, getting to know them on a personal level, and keeping track of the kind of business they are in, precisely what they do and what kind of business referrals they are looking for. It’s NOT about selling. That may come later… or not. Some the the people I refer rarely ever send me a referral, mostly because they are not in a position to reciprocate. We travel in different groups.

• You have to cultivate the area – Attend networking meetings and events to be visible.

• Plant the seeds – Let people know what kind of business referrals you need with a creative “30 second connection.”

• Water the crop – Follow up with one-on-one meetings to get better acquainted and to determine what kind of business referrals would benefit each other.

• Work the soil – Stay busy consistently looking for business referrals for those in your network. Remember, networking is about giving. Set a goal to offer at least one or more business referral each week.

• Reap the rewards – Celebrate with your networking friends.

For networking to work it is absolutely necessary to keep networking at the top of your priority list and consistently on your mind. Carry a business card holder with the cards of other members of your group with you on every business call you make to remind you to look for new people to network with and for business referrals to pass on to other members.

BONUS Article: When It Comes to Networking, Farmers Will Always Beat Hunters

netHQ

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.