In today’s challenging economy and rapidly evolving financial landscape, the role of a factoring broker has become increasingly important in facilitating smooth cash flow for businesses of all sizes. For today’s savvy and mobile creative brokers dealing with intricate webs of financial transactions, one essential tool continues to stand out as a catalyst for lead generation and a cornerstone for business development success and that is networking.
Beyond just a buzzword, networking for a factoring broker is a strategic and indispensable task that holds the power to unlock new opportunities. It forges lasting valuable partnerships and ultimately will drive unparalleled growth for his or her factoring consultancy.
In this excellent article provided by Chris Curtin at Bankers Factoring, we delve into 9 great tips for all factoring brokers to bear in mind when attending important networking events. Use these great tips to get more out of your social interactions and to help supercharge your industry success.
9 Important Rules for Networking Broker Success
1. Don’t sell or talk too much about yourself at networking meetings.
Your goal is to build your sphere of influence by meeting new people who will educate you and become solid resources for your clients and pillars. This is not the time or place for a sales presentation. Build Relationships.
2. The best way to get something from networking is to give something.
Do not expect to get leads when you never give others leads. Networking is like any relationship: You get out of it what you put in it.
3. Listen and ask the magic questions,
“Susan, who is a great prospect or referral source for you? How can I succinctly describe what you offer to others?” This is how you build a network.
4. The people you meet are either:
A. Potential clients
B. A source of referrals
Realize that not everyone will be a prospect. Networking is more than prospecting. It is also finding people who could lead you to potential new customers or other referral sources.
5. Networking is more like farming than hunting.
It takes time to cultivate and harvest. However, once the harvest season starts, you will be well compensated. We all have seen professionals come only once or twice to a group’s events and then give up because they did not receive a lead. They do not realize that long-time members test and judge their “staying power.”
6. Did you miss me or am I just another number?
Remember the first date you went on? You waxed the car. Put on your best clothing, shaved, or put make-up on. You opened the door for the other person. You also paid him or her a compliment. But after you see them a few times, the extra efforts are gone. Keep all your meetings like the first one!
7. To quote Martien Eerhart,
“Remember, it is net*work*, not net*eat* or net*play.* It takes energy and effort to make networking work for you.”
8. Remember to Volunteer
Strive to be on the membership committee for trade groups. These are some of your best connections for referral sources. Give of yourself and people will find a way to send you business.
9. Keep track and take care of your “Super Pillars”
Those who have sent you 2+ leads in your life. With enough individuals in this category, you will be set for life.
I can remember 15+ years ago, I was president of a trade association, and I remember seeing two people I liked and respected across the room from each other. I grabbed them both and said, “you two need to know each other”.
Fast forward almost 20 years and now these people have become fast friends and their families have even vacationed together. This gives me an unbelievable warm feeling of how that simple networking introduction changed both their lives, and lead to many years of referrals for me.
Planting the tiniest seed can build strong relationships that last a lifetime. Most of life is just showing up. I’m a firm believer that luck is made. Attend events, give time to your local Chamber of Commerce, reach out to invoice factoring companies for knowledge, spend time at different business network events to build relationships with other small business owners like you. Find aggressive commercial finance lenders who can funnel you their turndowns so their prospects get funded and eventually become bankable.
Happy Farming as you grow your accounts receivable factoring brokerage business!