I recently spoke at the Women Advisor Forum of the 2018 Sigma Financial Advisor Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona. I had fifteen minutes to share something really important with the women working in financial services – so I felt compelled to tell them 2019 is the year to just stop networking.
This is what I shared…
Networking – you might think it’s what you’re doing right now. Sitting at tables and making some small talk about business and life. It might be what you’re doing between sessions with the attendees-at-large in finding out how they work their book of business or comparing ideas for client appreciation events. It might even be considered when you meet someone on the plane to come here and follow-up with them when you get home. Networking 2019 Style is very different than what we are used to in the past, though.
I am bullish enough to say traditional networking is dead. What you should be doing is connecting. When you “network” you’re thinking in the short-term. Transactions are completed in a short amount of time and that is often taken as a personal gain.
However, when you connect with someone – you are putting their needs first. This means you lead with kindness, empathy, and without an agenda. This roots you to a person more deeply. It takes someone with a higher emotional IQ to be a super connector – and who do you think does this best overall: Men or Women? I’ll let you form your own opinion.
Tomato / Tomato?
No. I will rarely argue with someone about many things, but I stand confident that if you continue to do traditional networking, those of us who are connecting (i.e. – ME) are going to blow past you in business. Everybody is so sick of sales pitches, what have you done for me lately conversations, etc.
We have made all of life like Tinder
Face it – we swipe across those who have something we need and swipe away those who do not have what we want. When was the last time you stopped and had a real conversation this month? this week? today?
Busy – busy – busy. We must stop the madness of networking and start deeply rooting ourselves to others. How do you do this?
- When did you last talk to your clients? Just call them up and say, “How’s your life?”
- When was the last time you went with your significant other’s family and sat through a high school football game in the cold to just be there – rooting on this young person – and being a part of the moment?
- When was the last time you did video chat with your clients who live far away or have trouble ambulating? Just to see their face or see their expressions?
Be a Person of Action: Today, I want you to look at your calendar and make a change. Someone you would normally just email – do something different like set-up a Zoom (it’s free, c’mon!) and video chat with them. Pull an old-fashioned card out and write something to someone you would never do that with normally. Do something that connects with you someone and just stop the networking. You’ll be glad you did – it will change your life.