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Networking Best Practices of 7-Figure Business Owners

Networking can be one of the key components of how you move people over the bridge from your marketing efforts into sales conversations. Having a strong network of people who will send you referrals, and people who will support you, is one of the things that turns that bridge into a shortcut.
Photo showing people at a networking meeting and the blog title Networking Best Practices of 7-Figure Business Owners

Networking Best Practices of 7-Figure Business Owners

Here’s an important question to ask yourself. If you needed something for your business, who do you have in your phone that would answer your call? Your text? Your DM? Whether you were asking to help promote your upcoming event or program, refer you to a top subject matter expert, or just needing to bounce an idea off of someone who you know understands a problem you are trying to solve; do you have strong enough relationships with the right people? The people who don’t just have the answer, but will help you solve the problem.

In our personal lives we understand this need for deeper connections. When you need a doctor, a mechanic, a plumber, landscaper, painter, lawyer, or any service that we need as adults, we immediately reach out to our network of trusted people who can provide information, services, or support. Yet in our businesses, a lot of people mistake surface level prospecting for creating a true network. Most business owners know that they are “supposed” to do something called “networking”, but struggle to actually make strong connections with the people they meet. 

Networking is something that has helped my business grow rapidly and steadily. The more I network with multiple 6 and 7-figure business owners, the more I have noticed a similarity in how they network.

Build Rapport But Don’t Dawdle

Successful people are usually pretty busy. The purpose of networking is to create and build a business relationship. Your initial meeting is intended to find out if there are any synergies that you can later build upon, and to figure out how you might be able to work together. While it is important to build rapport in a friendly, personal way, it is also important to understand that everyone is busy and nobody has a ton of time to just “hang out” with strangers.  In some instances that can be as short as 30 minutes. You can always book more time later. 

Ask A Lot of Questions 

When you approach a networking conversation with the goal of looking for something that is mutually beneficial, it is important to ask each other a lot of questions. You often go into the conversation not already knowing exactly what that mutually beneficial opportunity is going to look like yet. Networking is about being interested and curious about each other’s businesses. Don’t be attached beforehand about what “should” happen and work together to figure out what “can” happen.

Position Your Business with an Abundance Mindset

As you learn more about the other person, and find the synergies, look for opportunities surrounding how your businesses can work together. Successful, high-level networking can happen when both parties help intentionally position their businesses by explaining how they can be of service to each other. Connect the dots for each other instead of just hoping the other party sees things for themselves.

Don’t get caught up in the scarcity mindset of being competitors. Instead of worrying about “stealing” each other’s clients, keeping an abundance mindset lets you focus on the ways that you can best help each other, knowing that truthfully, no business can be everything to everyone. 

Be Straightforward With Your Ask 

One of the things that continually surprises me is when I encounter a business owner who, when I ask how I can help them, what they need, or who they need to meet, doesn’t have an answer for me. Or they tell me they don’t need anything. I attribute that response to either being worried about not appearing perfect, or not being prepared. Neither of those situations is helpful. It is extremely important to be specific and straightforward with what you want. People want to help you, so make it easy for them to do so.

Being prepared with specific requests and being brave enough to make those requests have led me to being featured on stages and podcasts, being introduced to subject matter experts who were able to help me move my business forward, amazing new team members and of course – clients!

Recap Your Meeting

Ending with a quick recap of what you have both agreed to do, what you have agreed to send each other, and what you talked about will help you stay on track and avoid leaving a great conversation without following up. When you have a very specific list of next steps, you can actually follow up and continue the relationship building that you started. 


Successful Networking Tips and Tricks 

While this might sound very basic and intuitive, it is surprising how many business owners do not see the difference or understand the nuance between general networking versus building your network. These are pitbulls that I watch happen, and what to do instead. 

Give Before You Get

If you want to have a network that supports you, you have to be a supportive part of someone else’s network. To do that, you have to give before you get, and understand that it is not always linear. Often you may provide much more support than you get at first as you are building those relationships. It always goes back to having an abundance mindset and remembering that you are laying the foundation for when you need help. 

Have a Specific Ask 

If you have one problem that you need solved and can articulate that very specifically, it increases the chances of how quickly that problem can be solved for you. When you have a specific ask, you are more likely to get the help and information you need to achieve your goals. Also, when you ask people for several different things it just increases the chance that they actually won’t remember any of them. So be specific and concise.

Watch Your Language

It becomes very difficult to get the right solutions if you do not have a clear understanding of what you want. You cannot expect people to send you the right referrals if you are not able to be very articulate about your work and your target audience. If you do not have a clear understanding of your value proposition, there is no way that others will be able to figure it out for you.

Be Willing to Invest Financially 

Too many business owners are unfortunately not willing to financially invest in high-level groups. Most high-level networking groups are very much pay-to-play, and there is a reason for that. The people in these groups understand the value of building a network, which makes it absolutely worth the investment of not just your time but your money, your energy, and your effort to give back to the group and be involved at a higher level. Think of it this way – things are often worth what you pay for them.

Step Outside Your Comfort  Zone

You absolutely have to step out of your comfort zone in networking. For example, if you feel that your business is in the top 25 percent of the businesses in a particular group, then you probably feel that’s a safe, comfortable room for you to be in. But when you think about the fact that you want your business to grow, you need to surround yourself with people whose business have already grown, or with people who are putting in at least as much effort as you are to grow their businesses. While those rooms can be intimidating at first, the more you elevate who is part of your network, the bigger and faster your business is going to grow.

Network Not Prospect 

Prospecting instead of networking is a common problem I encounter. Of course you might encounter situations in which the person you meet while networking really is your ideal client. However, if prospecting is the only intention you have, you are losing out on the benefits of truly building your network that can help you long term. 

Don’t Be Too Aggressive or Too Passive 

There are times when I come across people who are way too aggressive in their approach to networking. Years ago I had a lunch meeting with someone who went on a tirade about why they were the person to whom I should give all of my referrals. Her behavior was weird, it was inappropriate, and it was way too aggressive and ended up haing the opposite effect than she intended. 

On the other hand, I often meet people who are too passive, and approach networking as if they are simply trying to make friends without remembering that the goal is to make connections to help each other grow your businesses. 

Networking and Lead Generation 

I have built two businesses to over six-figures in just 12-months using networking as my primary marketing strategy. Nothing replaces a really strong network and the relationships that I have made through networking. 

Networking can be one of the key components of how you move people over the bridge from your marketing efforts into sales conversations. Having a strong network of people who will send you referrals, and people who will support you, is one of the things that turns that bridge into a shortcut.

Lead Gen Masterclass 

If you are ready for the absolute next level in your business to add that next six figures to leverage your resources, your team, your time, your energy, then we have a huge opportunity for you on September 14, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm CDT, we are going to be doing a Lead Generation Masterclass. We will be going deep into how you create a predictable, repeatable system that gets people from over the bridge from engaging in your marketing and to actual sales conversations so that you can finally reach those goals that you wanted when you started your business.

Click here to learn more and sign up

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Erin Marcus

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Erin Marcus is an author, speaker and communications specialist helping organizations to “Conquer the Conversation,” and creating improvement in sales, customer service and team dynamics. To bring Erin to your event or business:

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