The ABC’s of Networking

One of the very first songs we learn as kids is the ABC song.  (Yes, you just started signing it in your head, you’re welcome.)  That song, and many other songs that teach us to remember lists, are important because it shows us that things we think are complicated are actually, “as simple as ABC!”

For mortgage professionals, networking with others is just as easy.  You could be networking with the mortgage industry, trying to create more awareness within the real estate industry, or you may just be networking in community or social groups.  There isn’t a complicated routine or formula to meeting people, its simply the process of turning strangers into acquaintances, and acquaintances into friends.

The very first thing you should do is make a list of everyone you know, even if you barely know them.  Then you are going to label them:  A, B, or C.  A-list people are close friends or family.  Someone who would immediately come into your house and grab something out of your refrigerator.  B-list are acquaintances and people you don’t yet know on a deeper level.  Maybe you’ve done business with them before, or maybe you’ve only met them once.  Either way, you are aware of their existence and have had interaction with them of some kind.  C-list people are strangers.  They are people you don’t know, have never met, and you may or may not know who they are.  This is a harder list to write down, because you can’t write them down if you don’t know who they are…but it could be a potential referral partner that you’ve identified and haven’t met yet or a neighbor you need to go by and say hi to.

Once you have your list, it’s simple.  Make cold-calls to meet the people on your C-list, so that they are on your B-list.  You then build relationships with people on your B-list.  (Helping at their open houses, going to coffee/lunch/drinks, sitting next to them at industry events, etc.) There are literally dozens of ways you can get to know someone better.  At some point soon they become a friend, and you’ve successfully added to your A-list.

People do business with people they know and like.  By turning strangers into acquaintances, and acquaintances into friends, you’ve indirectly built your business through a larger social circle to refer from.  “…and now I know my ABC’s, next time won’t you sing with me!”

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