Gary Loper Interview – Coach and Social Media Consultant
Gary Loper coaches entrepreneurs to build better relationships with their teams, customers and most importantly themselves — which in turn leads to greater profits! You can visit Gary at RealizedRealationships.com
Josh Hinds: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it’s important?
Gary Loper: Networking is vital not only for business, but in all areas of our lives. Many people have been programmed that they must do it all by themselves. Back in school, we were taught that we had to do it all on our own. We were punished if we sought out help or borrowed answers. When in our adult lives or in business have you ever truly witnessed anyone who has been successful doing it 100% all by themselves, having all the answers?
We all get by with help from our friends, even though our teachers, & family didn’t encourage us to gather a team around us that could bring in different skills & experiences to find the best answer. The truly prosperous people have always surrounded themselves with a team of trusted friends and advisors.
Business Networking is the opportunity for us to go out into the world and meet new people, gather new ideas, create and build upon those relationships to bring value and enhance each others mission.
Networking to me has always been seeking out people that I want to get to know on a personal level — that could be a friend as well as a possible referral source or client. I am always looking for ways I can add value to what they are doing or when I truly believe in them as a person and secondly their services, I will actively look for ways to promote or refer them to others seeking those services.
Unfortunately, many in the typical networking situations are not other focused, rather going on endlessly about themselves.
Josh Hinds: Can you share an idea or two that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?
Gary Loper: Be other focused and listen to the person you are talking with. Try to allow them to talk about themselves by asking questions that will give you a look into who they are, why they love their business and who is their ideal customer. All without trying to get in your commercial. When they see that you are interested in them as a person and not a potential sale, they will be much more motivated to ask about what you do.
Second, introduce them to someone new, making sure to use their words about what they do and what they are looking for and help them expand their network and grow their business.
Josh Hinds: Gary, based on your experiences, which places and activities have you found best for meeting new people and expanding your professional
Gary Loper: I have found the best place to network is at places where networking is not the primary reason for the gathering. For example, some type of exercise group you belong to, or another interest or passion you have, card clubs, garden clubs, parenting/school. Another huge place is weekend events with a structure or format of expanding knowledge and motivation. At both of these people are there because they really want to be there and have either paid or are looking forward to meeting people who are interested in the same things you are.
Many of my best relationships have been with people I have met at events, that is where we met you almost 5 years ago at an event in Orlando and I am most grateful for all you have shared with me over the years in helping me set the direction for my business.
Josh Hinds: Can you share a personal networking success story with us?
Gary Loper: One of the hidden benefits of networking is not only the relationships we can build with the new people we meet at these events, but in the introductions to people they know. In 2009 at The Extreme Business Makeover event co-hosted by Bob Burg, we met Loral Langemeier, who was one of the presenters there along with you. We got to know Loral and took several of her programs over the next couple years. In those programs we have met several incredible people, including one of our personal coaches, our financial strategists, our bookkeeper, our tax man, in addition to a large number of new friends and master mind partners.
Interestingly, how things come around full circle, our financial strategists also host a weekly radio show and they very graciously gave me one of their shows to promote an Event I hosted in St Petersburg with Bob Burg. So from that one event you can see the impact on so many different levels of our lives and business.
So many people are looking for a quick fix when they go out and ‘network’ but I have discovered that in developing real relationships with people and allowing it flow in its own course and then will we build the know, like and trust relationships that will open new doors to unlimited possibilities in all areas of our lives.
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