You are in a networking group. Good job! Whether that means you are in a group of insurance agents, a chamber group, or a referral network, you’ve probably realized how hard it is to keep yourself interesting. Week after week, you need to bring your A-game. Above all, you need to continue proving yourself to be an asset to your connections. What should you present at your next networking group?
A business card is great for introductions, but you can’t throw a business card at the same people meeting after meeting. You are more than just your business card. Your attire makes a big impression. If you come to a networking event with sloppy clothes and unkempt hair every single time, your colleagues won’t only think less of you but also might feel that you don’t care to be there. Dress neatly and fitting for your job (i.e. a boat engineer might be more casual than an insurance agent, and an insurance agent might be more casual than a lawyer).
While you dress neatly, you also need to bring the most authentic version of yourself. People want to make a real connection. You might be surprised, but a networking event doesn’t have to be 100% talking shop. Ask questions. Listen to the answers and learn about your fellow networkers. As you get to know people, your bonds will deepen and may lead to more collaboration and referrals.
Depending on the type of networking event, you should try to see how you can help other attendees. With other insurance agents, discuss the latest policies and the ways your agency is considering growth. Give advice, but only when asked. You don’t want to come off too strong.
Above all, put others in front of you. Listen to what people have to say and provide follow-up questions. Provide help organically as it comes up in conversation, and always do it with a positive attitude.
Sure, you might be having these networking events weekly, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Social media is great for forging connections and keeping up-to-date daily.
The most professional platform to keep in touch with is LinkedIn. Thousands of people use LinkedIn to forge networking connections. The people you connect with also might be on other platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, but beware. Following someone’s business account is fine, and networking on LinkedIn is good, but don’t be too eager to pursue their personal accounts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram unless you become more than a business connection. You might come off too strong. Following your connection’s business accounts will keep you apprised of their latest developments and give you talking points for the next networking meeting.
Don’t stop there! If you have your connection’s business card, give them a call! A follow-up email would suffice as well. Anything to keep the ball rolling and build up your connection from a good one to a great one! Peruse their website and get a feel for who they are and what they provide their clients. Ask questions to help better understand them and to better yourself in the process. For more follow-up advice, check out this helpful blog.
Networking is excellent to build yourself up in a community. However, networking is also about building relationships, sharing information, and learning. These meetings can be vital for your career. Go to each meeting ready to learn and forge a long-time business relationship. At Normandy Insurance, we pride ourselves on going the extra mile for our agents. Learn more about how else we can help you here: https://www.normandyins.com/agent-resources.html