Expert Advice On Business Networking And Tips On Developing Your Networking Skills

Benjamin Bach interview – wealth building consultant, realtor and speaker

Benjamin Bach lives in Waterloo, Ontario Canada where he helps people retire rich and young through smart real estate investments. On the side he is an inspirational speaker and leadership development trainer, and manages a private portfolio of real estate properties. Benjamin would love to hear from you, and can be reached at benjamin@benjaminbach.com or through his website.

Josh: Benjamin, how do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?

Benjamin Bach: Networking for me is all about meeting people and seeing if I can be valuable to them. Maybe I know someone who they should meet, maybe I read a book which can help their business – however I can help, I’m glad to do so.

Part of my enduring purpose is ‘to give freely,’ and I really try to live up to that when I’m in a ‘networking’ setting.

It’s crucial to any business, since our profit lies in the pockets of everyone else. If I have a valuable service or good, I can sell more by reaching more people. Networking lets you be valuable to more people. If you’ve built a business model around being paid for value (and you should), this will result in more profit for you and your organization.

Josh: Can you share an idea or two that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?

Benjamin Bach: 1) Send a hand written note after you meet someone for the first time, and at least once a quarter after that. Keep it simple – “Hey, it was great meeting you the other night at the Business after 5. If I can ever help you, just ask!” has always worked well for me.

Get personalized cards made up – Your picture, contact info and slogan, and a whole lot of space to write. Use a blue pen, and hand address the envelope in blue as well. Send 10 a day, starting now. Anyone you talk to, you send a card. Meet a new prospect? Send a card. Someone win an award? Send a card.

2) Get amazing, cool, funny, memorable business cards made up – mine are a cartoon. Get a card that makes people say WOW!, those are great. Spend some kesef on the design; people will remember them and hand them out. Give them out like candy.

Josh: Based on your experiences, which places and activities have you found best for meeting new people and expanding your business network?

Benjamin Bach: The Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce is the premier location for me to build relationships in my community. I believe that in most cities this is the case; Bob Burg suggested I join my local chamber in his phenomenal book Endless Referrals. What a great suggestion!

Toastmasters has also been very good for meeting people, not to mention the BEST resource to improve communication skills. Go to conferences. I can’t even begin to tell you about the people I met when I travelled to Texas to learn from Jim Rohn this past March (and I know you agree with this – you and I have matching pictures with Jim and Chris!).

Josh: How do you generally engage a person in conversation upon first meeting them?

Benjamin Bach: First, I make a conscious effort to note the colour of their eyes. This ensures I am making GREAT eye contact, and makes it easy to genuinely listen to the person (since my attention is trained on them). I try to look at everyone with love in my eyes – not in the romantic sense, but in the way that lets them know you really care about them as a person (read Og Mandino’s Greatest Salesman in the World for a better explanation of this).

I stand up straight, make sure my arms aren’t crossed, and smile. After that, you just need to follow through on the expectation you’ve built with your non verbal communication – ask questions that focus on them and allow them to be portrayed in the best light possible, and listen attentively.

Don’t sell yourself. Don’t offer your services. Don’t interrupt their stories to go say hi to someone across the room. For the minute or two you’re speaking with them, give them your undivided attention, and make them feel special. They will associate these positive feelings with you (and when they get your card a few days later they will remember the charming chat they had with you!)

Josh: Can you share a personal “networking” success story with us?

Benjamin Bach: Sure, I’d love to. I moved to the city I’m in two years ago, and knew only one or two people. Through the relationships I’ve built, and by continuously adding value to my clients, colleagues and friend’s lives, I’ve built up a good size (and growing!) sphere of influence. The quality of my sphere was demonstrated recently; this past month I was voted Favourite Real Estate Agent, beating out about 1500 other real estate agents.

Tim Sanders says that your network is your networth. Heed his words and start meeting more people today. Give out ten business cards a day. Write 10 hand written notes a day. Give TONS of value. You will be rewarded with abundant relationships and riches.

*brought to you by BusinessNetworkingAdvice.com

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