What Are The Most Important Networking Skills for Financial Advisors?
Networking is an important prospecting tool, especially for newer Advisors who have a paucity of clients. Probably the two most common ways to network are via social media or face-to-face. Both methods are effective if done correctly.
The concept of networking is not new. In fact, it is two thousand years old. It would not have survived if it didn’t work. Getting ahead in the business world has a lot more to do with who you know than what you know.
While networking is pretty straight forward, there are specific skills involved. It involves a lot more than simply handing out business cards. Like other prospecting methods, networking entails being brilliant at the basics.
The most important networking basic is perseverance. Build a repeatable process and stay with it.
A repeatable process will bring predictable results over time. Like all methods of prospecting, networking is a process, not an event. It is a soft skill which must be developed through practice. The skill doesn’t come quickly and the results don’t come quickly. It’s a matter of keeping at it.
Cmpaigns with expiration dates don’t work. Jumping from one campaign this quarter to another campaign next quarter often means killing off a good idea before it has a chance to come to fruition. Decide what you want to do, jump in and stay with it.
It takes organizational skill to network.
You have to know exactly who you intend to cultivate. Not all contacts are equal. Where will you find the greatest potential return? You also need to know exactly what you intend to say when you do make contact.
You will also need to create a data base. We did a webinar a while back with Nate Bergeland as our guest. Nate is CEO of Referral Pod, a networking software system for Financial Advisors. As Nate says, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
Listening is an underrated networking skill.
The events you will attend are not about you. It’s always about the other guy. Professional listeners ask professional questions.
Patience is important because you’ve got to give a lot more than you receive. Other professionals will gladly take all the referrals you want to give them. They typically will not be so quick to reciprocate.
I find the analogy appropriate that a Financial Advisor looking for new clients is like an applicant looking for a job. Industry data reveals that eighty percent of all available jobs are never advertised. You find out about them by networking with your friends and advisors. Well, one hundred percent of all referrals are never advertised. You find out about them by networking with your friends and advisors.
As you network, don’t sell yourself short.
You have within your grasp the ability to make people financially secure. Very few people on earth can make the same claim. Be humble yet secure in your own abilities. Maintain the inner confidence all successful people have. You’re someone people need to meet. Go meet them.
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