Daniel Decker Interview – Marketing Expert
Daniel Decker is President of Higher Level Group, Inc., a strategic marketing and development firm that helps authors, professional speakers, and organizations who are “doing good” to expand their influence.
Daniel and his team have successfully launched multiple bestselling books and grown the businesses of several million-dollar speakers. You can connect with Daniel on his blog at www.DanielDecker.net or follow him on Twitter @danieldecker.
Josh Hinds: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?
Daniel Decker: Business Networking, to me, is really about building relationships that create a mutual benefit. The problem with most “networking” though is that far too often people approach it from a one-sided perspective. They step in with a “What can I get?” attitude instead of “What can I give?”
Relationships that matter are those where both parties win and where trust, respect and reciprocal value is shared. If you care about others, they’ll be much more likely to care about you… and the more they do, the better the relationship becomes. The benefit is that, as the relationship grows, so will the opportunities. People do business with people they like. Sure, price matters but relationships matter more.
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?
Daniel Decker: First, be there. If you want to be the life of the party, you have to be at the party (whatever the party may be). Whether it be a physical networking event or even online business networking through social media, etc…. you have to be there to connect.
Second, engage. Don’t think that by simply being there you will network by osmosis. You have to be intentional about developing relationships and making a point to add value to the conversation in some way. Don’t make it all about you, make it about them and how you can add value or serve them in some way.
Third (bonus point), follow up. Make it a point to stay in touch and to be human. Don’t focus so much on the transaction. Focus on the relationship. Business will naturally flow as a result.
Josh Hinds: How do you follow up with the people you meet? Do you have any particular system in place for keeping up with and managing the relationships in your business network?
Daniel Decker: I’m huge on follow-up. It’s what makes the difference between networking being just casual interactions that never lead anywhere versus developing them into something that matters. I personally block out 3 hours every Friday morning to make follow-up phone calls, write hand written notes and to send emails to people just to check in, say Thank You, or to offer some encouragement. I don’t try to “sell them.” I try to develop the relationship with them so that I can help them when they have a need. Don’t do it just as a strategy though, do it because you genuinely care. When you do, you’ll reap what you sow.
Josh Hinds: How has having a strong professional network in place made a difference in your life?
Daniel Decker: It’s made all the difference in the world. I’ve been in business for myself for 11 years now and have never spent a dime on advertising or recruiting customers. 100% of my client base has come by way of referrals, networking and building relationships with a long-term perspective in mind. Not only that but because of the networking, I have also gained access to mentors and guides who have helped me shape my business whenever I needed some insight from someone who had been there before me.
In parting I’d close with this thought… Networking is about relationships. Choose to serve others and do what you can to add value. Don’t do it with a motive. Do it because it’s the right thing to do and when you do, you will succeed. It may sound a little simplistic or soft but it’s true. The more you give, the more you will receive.
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