Networking is an integral part of growing your financial advisor practice. The connections you make are extremely valuable, and you should nurture and protect them. The best way to protect your connections is to respect that they are busy people with their own responsibilities. If you lose sight of that, you can end up losing that connection. It’s easy to get caught up in reaching your goals, but there are some things that you shouldn’t do in any situation. Here are 4 networking mistakes to avoid:
Being late is the most obvious mistake you can make. You should make every effort to be on time for meetings with your connections. Arriving late indicates that you don’t value the other person’s time. It can also mess up their schedule if they have meetings after yours. Being late for multiple meetings can result in connections believing that you aren’t serious.
There’s nothing wrong with being assertive. You start to lose people when your assertiveness crosses over into aggression. If a contact is unavailable or unable to do what you’ve requested, it’s rude to badger them about it. You’ll get better results if you show understanding and leave it up to them to follow up. People are also repelled if you’re constantly hard selling them on someone or something. Promotion is okay, but there’s a right way to do it. You should avoid selling or promoting in inappropriate situations as well.
Not offering reciprocity
When it comes to the more successful people in your network, you probably think that there’s nothing you can offer them. Don’t look at yourself that way because there’s always a way to reciprocate. You can take the time to leave them a LinkedIn recommendation, speak highly of them to others, or tell them about the great place you found for client meetings. All of these options show the person that you aren’t there to take advantage of them.
Not showing gratitude
Your clients aren’t the only people who need to feel appreciated. People from your professional network need to feel appreciated as well. Whether it’s a recommendation, a lucrative lead, or interview prep, “thank you” goes a long way. People who feel that you are genuinely thankful for their help, are more likely to be there the next time you need something. On the other hand, people who feel that you’re rude or ungrateful aren’t likely to help you next time.
Everyone is different, but some things are universal. No matter their position, the people in your network need to feel respected and appreciated above all else. If you give them that, they’ll come through for you over and over again.
When you avoid these four networking mistakes, you’ll see your practice continue to grow. For more growth tips, download our free checklist 10 Things to Grow Your Financial Advisor Practice