• Before you arrive to a networking event, prepare an elevator speech of what you’re going to say.
  • Listen; don’t just think about what you are going to say next.
  • Leave people with not only your contact information but also a take-home reminder of why people should do business with you.

One can learn to network with people and increase revenue for his real estate business. It’s simple: The more people who know and trust you, the more likely they will refer you to others.

Many years ago, I was at a sales conference, and one of the speakers kept going back to his point that we should all join a business network.

I added it to my to-do list, and I finally got back to it about a year later. As it turned out, there were no networks where I live. I decided that I would start my own business network. That was in 2005, and the rest is history.

In today’s business world, I knew that a great deal of business was built on trusting relationships. So here are four easy tips that I learned — hopefully, they will help you start, too.

1. Always be prepared

Before you arrive, know what you are going to say. Some people call this an elevator speech.

Prepare a short (less than one minute) summary on:

a. Who you are.
b. What you do.
c. Whom you would like to do business with.
d. What’s unique about you and your business.
e. The compelling reasons why others should investigate your opportunity or offer.
f. Then repeat your name when closing.

Practice and fine-tune this — don’t let it sound canned. Let your personality show, and make sure that it comes from your heart. Do this because you care and believe in what you do.

2. Listen

Too many times when we are in conversation with others, we are too busy preparing our come back or answer instead of listening to what they have to say. We often miss important points.

Instead, listen for their issues and their highlights. Think how can you help to solve their problems. As the old saying goes, we have two ears and only one mouth, so make sure you listen.

3. Compliment and care

When you to give a listing presentation at someone’s home, the first thing you should do is give a compliment. Start the conversation off right, and make them feel good and comfortable.

If they feel that you don’t care, they won’t do business with you. I truly believe this.

Why would I do business with you if you don’t care about my situation, my issues or goals?

One way to show them that you do care is by listening. Another way is to summarize and repeat back what they have shared with you.

Start with, “If I heard you right, you said …”

Offer solutions, and show them with a passionate voice that you do care. One more thing: You need to be authentic, and you better care.

4. Business cards

I often have my business cards printed with my unique selling propositions on the back. Carry lots of business cards, and keep extras in your car.

If you use your right hand to shake hands, have business cards in your left pocket or somewhere where you can seamlessly pull one out and give it to them with your other hand.

Leave them with not only your contact information but also a take-home reminder of why people should do business with you.

Remember, “What’s in it for me?” If you can answer that question long before it’s asked, you have your foot in the door.

Consider joining a business network especially if you are new to real estate or new to the community. People need to learn that they can trust you, so don’t expect results overnight.

Keep going. It’s a process. Understand that it’s not just the people you meet, it’s the people that they know, too.

Networking has paid me well over the years; it can for you, too. Another bonus is that I have met so many great people. Many of them I can now simply call good friends — you can’t beat that.

Jim Messner is the business coach and manager of business development at Royal LePage Integrity Real Estate located in the Greater Calgary area of Canada. He loves networking — follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Email Jim Messner.

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