Why do you need to ‘network’ when you join CMC?

Having close relationships with a range of business professionals is an essential part of the CMC business model. Therefore learning to network is a fundamental part of the skill set you will need to develop.

The Professional Network

You must build a network of Professional Partners who are essential to be able to introduce to clients. Mutual referrals for business will come from trusted Professional Partners.

You will need Bank Managers, Accountants, Lawyers, Independent Financial Advisors, Web Designers, IT Specialists, HR professionals, Recruitment Consultants and so on. They will be people you can trust, not only on a professional basis, but able to get on with your clients and understand them as people and businesses.

As a CMC Partner you will need to build up your own network allowing you to become part of your local business community. It takes skill and patience, but starting at the bottom and slowly and surely building your reputation as a valuable network member is essential.

How do you network?

The basis of most networking is the regular, face to face meetings of the people in your network. This will be over breakfast or lunch or in the evening and will have an etiquette laid down by the group. Normally there will be a chance to address the group for a short time to remind them who you are and what you do.

Before each meeting, practice your ‘elevator speech’ – what you can say in the time the elevator gets to the next floor – which you’ll use at each encounter. Don’t pigeon hole your skills too much, but leave something fresh and resonant.

Remember there are generally just two things people are interested in:

1) Your experience

2) The types of clients and projects you have worked on – People are interested in the success you have bought to your clients

Remember too that people are looking for support and not to be sold to – the more helpful you can be, the more people will seek you out and refer you.

A successful networking encounter will leave the person with something memorable about you – something that will allow them to refer you to somebody. Case studies are very useful or a brief description of the type of referral you would like.

The most important issue is to give it time. If you join a network don’t go once and twice and then expect people to remember you. Once you have found a likeminded group of people you need to focus your networking and avoid spreading yourself too thin.

As in all things there is a balance to be struck between productive networking and networking for the sake of networking!

The CMC Community

Belonging to the CMC franchise also means you are part of an internal network consisting of other specialist advisors where you will exchange information and insights and remain up to date for the benefit of your clients.

Ultimately your goal is to be at the centre of your network consisting of half a dozen local business professionals of proven value who work equally well with you and each other. Your role will be to manage and maintain the network through personal contacts and social events. You should aim to spend quality time maintaining and developing your network.

You’ll know you’ve succeeded when people ask to join your network!

The do’s and don’ts of Business Networking

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