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Does the Gift Meet the Deed or Is a Gift Really Necessary?

In August I received an email from a friend in the mortgage business.  She was starting a new company and was soliciting mortgage brokers.  I suggested that I could help her through my LinkedIn network.  I told her that if she would send me a general email asking for qualified mortgage professionals with her requirements I would offer it to existing mortgage professionals, investment advisors, and real-estate professionals.  It turned out to be approximately 60 connections.

After completing the task, I received a nicely worded thank you by email which included an invitation to lunch with a date to be determined after Labor Day.  A week after Labor Day I received an email giving me dates for availability and now the reward was coffee near their office.  My office is approximately 30 miles from their office.

Please understand, I did not offer to make connections for a reward.  Those who know me well know I love making connections for free.  My joy comes from connecting.  Why is it that people offer gifts with no value?

Another professional and I have had a relationship since 2005. We have worked together for minimal financial compensation.  Also in the real estate space, this person won me in a raffle drawing I offered during my days with the local chamber of commerce.  The term of working together was one year for zero compensation.  The first Christmas working with her, she sent me a gift card for $100.  The money I received I used for a pair of Johnson and Murphy loafers.  Every time I wear those loafers I think of that realtor with fond memories.  I will do anything for this person today.

And then there is this couple (maybe true or maybe made up.)  One is looking to pick my brain for the business while the other is looking for a job.  When the brain picker wants information about how to attract the right prospects and generate more referrals I receive offers to buy me lunch or meet for coffee. When the other wants to applaud my connections with potential employers, I am offered thanks by an offer to potentially meet for dinner.  Those gestures are very nice yet totally unnecessary.  I am happy to have my brain picked and make connections for free.  I love connecting good people with other good people in my network.

Is the gift appropriate for the activity?  My point is, that when offering a reward, we should deliver or avoid making the offer.  Had my friend in the mortgage business offered to meet me half way for coffee that would have been OK.  It is the memories created around the reward.

We do things to help others without the intention of a reward.  As they say at Nike, “Just Do It.”  That is all that is necessary.  How about a Thank You Card with a Starbucks gift for $5?  I know a client who keeps a desk drawer filled with $5 Starbucks gift cards.

Another person in real estate had a local restaurant gift certificate he would send for referrals.  What he would do was offer $50 for a mortgage loan referral.  The restaurant billed him only when the certificate was used, so there was no upfront cost to the realtor.

These ideas for a reward are just that, ideas.  I believe that the real reward comes from success.  When the mortgage broker, the realtor, or the couple can build relationships that deliver value, that is the true essence of what I do for free.  It creates win/win!  We all want to be winners.  That is what life and business is all about.

 

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with people in business who want to attract the right prospects and generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.  His book series, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, are available on the website, www.integritysd.com.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started INTEGRITY.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is a Distinguished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

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