How to Actually Network? Answered!

Scott Costello All, Blog 15 Comments

networkingpicThis week has been a banner week for me in terms of networking.  I usually do most of my networking on the computer, which is fine and all but it really doesn’t have the same affect as shaking someone’s hand and sitting down with them for a few minutes to talk.  I am starting to realize this and will continue to work at getting out of my shell and literally talk with fellow investors.

Recap of my Networking this week…

Monday phone call with Shae Bynes of GoodFaithInvesting.com. We had a great talk about our goals for the rest of the year.  Shae and I do a pretty good job of pushing each other to stay on track with our goals and keep the motivation flowing.  We also spoke about marketing our blogs and some techniques we use to get traffic.  Shae has been writing some wonderful articles for BiggerPockets.com, EzineArticles and also for my site as well.  Here are some of the articles she has written for my blog…

Wednesday phone call with Nick Johnson of Subject2.com. I met Nick through Shae and connected with him first over on Twitter.  I didn’t know to much about him before hand but let me tell you this guy knows what he is talking about.  Nick gave me some great advice for getting and making some extra money on the side from the probate leads, or any leads for that matter.  I’ll create a separate post about that sometime over the next few days.

Nick is a really nice a sincere guy and I look forward to talking with him more.  He is currently doing a multi-part series on subject2 investing over at Shae’s blog,  so go check it out. Subject2 Investing with Nick Johnson.

Thursday’s Mastermind meeting with Jon Zorrer of ReiTvShow.com. I was lucky enough to have Jon find  me through the blog.  He is a very successful investor in Northern New Jersey and is a genuine guy who is just as much into helping others as he is investing.  It turned out he runs a meetup.com group called Real Estate Deal Makers Mastermind.

I went to the meeting last night and was highly impressed.  Met some great people and was able to talk with Jon for about 45 minutes.   We talked about my probate investing strategies and also he gave me the name of another investor in Morris County that he knows.  I’m very glad to have met Jon and look forward to getting to know him and the rest of the members of the mastermind group.  The group has the same family feel as Flippinghomes.com forums.

My Question to You…How to Actually Network?

As I was sitting in the meeting last night I realized that I needed to learn how to network properly.  Sure I could show up to these meetings or talk to people but if I didn’t have an agenda I was just wasting my time.  I was just fooling myself.    I spent the first half of the meeting watching how other people interacted, watching what the experienced investors where doing and saying.

What I’m actually asking with my question is as a “new” investor, how do you network?  I have no deals to shop, no experiences to share and I don’t know what I don’t know so I can’t ask questions.  So out side of just introducing myself and explaining what I am trying to do, what else can be said?

For the newbies out there who feel the same way, I can tell you the answer…Make Offers, Get into the game and you will have plenty to talk about!

That was the revelation I had last night when it comes to networking.  It was a good night!

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Comments 15

  1. Excellent question. The answer is really quite simple though. You dont have to talk about anything about yourself, in fact, you keep it to a minimum.

    What I mean is, people love to talk about themselves. You should be asking them lots of questions.

    How long have you been in the business?
    What has worked?
    What has not?
    What have you found to be the biggest headaches?
    What have been your biggest victories?
    What other meeting do you go to?
    Do you invest out of state?
    What other investing strategies are you interested in?

    Also, here is a trick, remember their name. In the middle of the conversation, say “You know you are right about that 'Jim', I experienced the same thing.. blah blah”

    Then get their card, and call them a few days later. Just say, 'Hey Jim it was nice talking to your the other night. If I find any deals or info on xxxxx I will let you know. Would it be ok if I call to check in from time to time? (the answer will 99% be yes)

    I was in the same position as you 1 year ago and have gone to over 30 different REI meeting this year. In the beginning I would get like 2 business cards and call it a night, then get all introverted and stop networking. I would see people standing there and I would freeze. Now, I roll right up to people and say “Hi my name is Chris. What yours?, Hi Jane, its nice to meet you. What type of investing are you interested in?” That is my standard opener and I never deviate.

    Works 99.9999% of the time – “60% of the time it works… everytime – you know what movie that is” 🙂

    Just remember, networking is all about them, not you. Yes, they will ask you questions, just give them little teasers. If they turn it on you and ask, “What type investing are you interested in”, say “I am focusing on probates for wholesaling” Then turn it back to them.

    If they ask you, how many deals have you done, dont, get all flustered. Just answer, “I am heavily marketing, and the deal is right around the corner.” Trust me, you turn a lemon into lemonade with that one. (plus most people are not doing deals, and the ones that are will like your positivity and the fact that you are actually taking action)

    After 5 meetings you will get the hang of it. I actually love to network now. I have even started speaking at some of the events about some of my deals (I had a deathly fear of public speaking, but I just did it. Thought my heart was gonna come out of my chest. But just this week I got up and spoke and I was not nervous at all, was totally weird. Huge victory.)

    Networking builds momentum. Plus you are going to meet someone, who then causes you to meet someone else, who then tell you about something which then leads you to a deal.

    -Chris

  2. Chris's response was great!

    Thanks for the great mention btw Scott! I appreciate that. I'm glad you connected with Jon. I really like that guy, he's full of energy just like myself and I think him and I share a lot of the same traits. Besides being just a few years older than Jon, I'd say we're pretty close to being twins LOL!!

    When I network with someone, I make it about them. I'm actually more interested in WHO they are rather than HOW they can help me or how I can help them. I actually enjoy meeting new people whether they are in real estate or not.

  3. Totally correct Nick. How they can help me is actually of little concern to me. It took me a little while to figure that out. It has made all the difference, I have made some really good friends actually from REI networking. There are a few of us that meet up a get a beer afterwards sometimes.

    Scott I grew up in NJ, and live on Long Island now. I was thinking about going to one of the NJ REIAs. If you want, maybe we can meet up and hit one of them together. My mom still lives in NJ so I stop over there and do the 'good son' thing before I head to my investment markets.

    -Chris

  4. Chris,

    That is a great comment and I'm glad you pointed out what you did. I was thinking about what you said at lunch and couldn't agree more. I guess I got my point of view, because the other investors where following your advice and asking me about me and I'd feel uncomfortable because I didn't really have anything good to say. I should have turned it around on them and took control of the conversation. Something I've always shy'd away from and have to work on.

    Thanks for the great post and let me know when you'll be in Jersey next time and we could head out to an REIA meeting.

  5. I always seem to forget that when I get into one of those networking meetings. The other investors seem to take control of the conversation and I just follow. Got to work on my convo' control skills

    Thanks for the comment Nick

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  7. That would be great. I grew up in Bergen county so I would be interested in the northern jersey REIAs.

    I would not worry too much about the 'control' aspect of it. I get into a conversation sometimes and the other person and I are just having a nice conversation and I find myself talking a lot. Once I realize it I just say, oh I have been talking too much and I start asking them questions.

    Many people ask a lot of questions because they are nervous, just like you and just like me. I still get nervous when I go to meetings, its not gone, I just control it and break through.

    Also, not every conversation is going to go A+, sometimes you will be off, sometimes they will be off. But if you are genuine, you will find that it is quite easy to have a nice conversation. And you know what, if the conversation starts falling off a cliff, just end it. Get their card, if you have not already, and tell them you will call them.

    Now here is where you become a 'Player'. Its in the follow up. Almost nobody follows up. Out of 100 people, 5 will send an email follow, if you are lucky, only 1 person will phone follow up.

    It has made the difference for me. It is really scary, you feel like an idiot calling these people, but all you are really doing is remaining fresh in their minds. Then in 30 days later call them again.

    The reason for this is, when suddenly you snagged a wholesale deal you want to unload. It is going to make it 10000000 times easier to sell the deal, because they know you how you are. Instead of “who is this dude, I dont know if I can trust him” its “Oh, Scott, hey there, yeah thats I right I have been building my buyers list, thanks for asking, and you know, I may know a guy who wants this”

    My mentor taught me that although the internet is an amazing place to meet people you would have never met, the real deals and the players are shaking hands and developing relationships all the time. So when that huge juicy deal comes along and you need 300k to make it happen, you are not saying to yourself “Oh Sh@#$, what do I do now???”, its “Hey Tommy, duuuuuuuuude, I got the sickest deal ever, you want in?!

    -Chris

  8. Chris, I thought your response was right on point! And I completely agree….at REI meetings the majority of people aren't doing deals.

    BTW Scott…honestly I believe that a person who asks you “How many deals have you done?” during an initial conversation is most likely a person who doesn't have any (or has little) REI experience. No reason to feel insecure about it….like Chris said, as long as you're generally positive and can talk about the ACTION you're taking, you'll good to go 🙂

    “Networking” is really just about getting to know people and building relationships (where it makes sense). Just talk to people and get to know them and find connections where you can. I won't go on any longer since I've already given my 50 cents in the article. LOL!

    Great post Scotty!

  9. Excellent question. The answer is really quite simple though. You dont have to talk about anything about yourself, in fact, you keep it to a minimum.

    What I mean is, people love to talk about themselves. You should be asking them lots of questions.

    How long have you been in the business?
    What has worked?
    What has not?
    What have you found to be the biggest headaches?
    What have been your biggest victories?
    What other meeting do you go to?
    Do you invest out of state?
    What other investing strategies are you interested in?

    Also, here is a trick, remember their name. In the middle of the conversation, say “You know you are right about that 'Jim', I experienced the same thing.. blah blah”

    Then get their card, and call them a few days later. Just say, 'Hey Jim it was nice talking to your the other night. If I find any deals or info on xxxxx I will let you know. Would it be ok if I call to check in from time to time? (the answer will 99% be yes)

    I was in the same position as you 1 year ago and have gone to over 30 different REI meeting this year. In the beginning I would get like 2 business cards and call it a night, then get all introverted and stop networking. I would see people standing there and I would freeze. Now, I roll right up to people and say “Hi my name is Chris. What yours?, Hi Jane, its nice to meet you. What type of investing are you interested in?” That is my standard opener and I never deviate.

    Works 99.9999% of the time – “60% of the time it works… everytime – you know what movie that is” 🙂

    Just remember, networking is all about them, not you. Yes, they will ask you questions, just give them little teasers. If they turn it on you and ask, “What type investing are you interested in”, say “I am focusing on probates for wholesaling” Then turn it back to them.

    If they ask you, how many deals have you done, dont, get all flustered. Just answer, “I am heavily marketing, and the deal is right around the corner.” Trust me, you turn a lemon into lemonade with that one. (plus most people are not doing deals, and the ones that are will like your positivity and the fact that you are actually taking action)

    After 5 meetings you will get the hang of it. I actually love to network now. I have even started speaking at some of the events about some of my deals (I had a deathly fear of public speaking, but I just did it. Thought my heart was gonna come out of my chest. But just this week I got up and spoke and I was not nervous at all, was totally weird. Huge victory.)

    Networking builds momentum. Plus you are going to meet someone, who then causes you to meet someone else, who then tell you about something which then leads you to a deal.

    -Chris

  10. Chris's response was great!

    Thanks for the great mention btw Scott! I appreciate that. I'm glad you connected with Jon. I really like that guy, he's full of energy just like myself and I think him and I share a lot of the same traits. Besides being just a few years older than Jon, I'd say we're pretty close to being twins LOL!!

    When I network with someone, I make it about them. I'm actually more interested in WHO they are rather than HOW they can help me or how I can help them. I actually enjoy meeting new people whether they are in real estate or not.

  11. Totally correct Nick. How they can help me is actually of little concern to me. It took me a little while to figure that out. It has made all the difference, I have made some really good friends actually from REI networking. There are a few of us that meet up a get a beer afterwards sometimes.

    Scott I grew up in NJ, and live on Long Island now. I was thinking about going to one of the NJ REIAs. If you want, maybe we can meet up and hit one of them together. My mom still lives in NJ so I stop over there and do the 'good son' thing before I head to my investment markets.

    -Chris

  12. Chris,

    That is a great comment and I'm glad you pointed out what you did. I was thinking about what you said at lunch and couldn't agree more. I guess I got my point of view, because the other investors where following your advice and asking me about me and I'd feel uncomfortable because I didn't really have anything good to say. I should have turned it around on them and took control of the conversation. Something I've always shy'd away from and have to work on.

    Thanks for the great post and let me know when you'll be in Jersey next time and we could head out to an REIA meeting.

  13. I always seem to forget that when I get into one of those networking meetings. The other investors seem to take control of the conversation and I just follow. Got to work on my convo' control skills

    Thanks for the comment Nick

  14. That would be great. I grew up in Bergen county so I would be interested in the northern jersey REIAs.

    I would not worry too much about the 'control' aspect of it. I get into a conversation sometimes and the other person and I are just having a nice conversation and I find myself talking a lot. Once I realize it I just say, oh I have been talking too much and I start asking them questions.

    Many people ask a lot of questions because they are nervous, just like you and just like me. I still get nervous when I go to meetings, its not gone, I just control it and break through.

    Also, not every conversation is going to go A+, sometimes you will be off, sometimes they will be off. But if you are genuine, you will find that it is quite easy to have a nice conversation. And you know what, if the conversation starts falling off a cliff, just end it. Get their card, if you have not already, and tell them you will call them.

    Now here is where you become a 'Player'. Its in the follow up. Almost nobody follows up. Out of 100 people, 5 will send an email follow, if you are lucky, only 1 person will phone follow up.

    It has made the difference for me. It is really scary, you feel like an idiot calling these people, but all you are really doing is remaining fresh in their minds. Then in 30 days later call them again.

    The reason for this is, when suddenly you snagged a wholesale deal you want to unload. It is going to make it 10000000 times easier to sell the deal, because they know you how you are. Instead of “who is this dude, I dont know if I can trust him” its “Oh, Scott, hey there, yeah thats I right I have been building my buyers list, thanks for asking, and you know, I may know a guy who wants this”

    My mentor taught me that although the internet is an amazing place to meet people you would have never met, the real deals and the players are shaking hands and developing relationships all the time. So when that huge juicy deal comes along and you need 300k to make it happen, you are not saying to yourself “Oh Sh@#$, what do I do now???”, its “Hey Tommy, duuuuuuuuude, I got the sickest deal ever, you want in?!

    -Chris

  15. Chris, I thought your response was right on point! And I completely agree….at REI meetings the majority of people aren't doing deals.

    BTW Scott…honestly I believe that a person who asks you “How many deals have you done?” during an initial conversation is most likely a person who doesn't have any (or has little) REI experience. No reason to feel insecure about it….like Chris said, as long as you're generally positive and can talk about the ACTION you're taking, you'll good to go 🙂

    “Networking” is really just about getting to know people and building relationships (where it makes sense). Just talk to people and get to know them and find connections where you can. I won't go on any longer since I've already given my 50 cents in the article. LOL!

    Great post Scotty!

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