Stop Networking and Start Connecting
In this edition of “Inspiring Women,” host Betty Collins encourages connecting (knowing people more) over networking (knowing more people). The show also includes an interview with master networker Frank Agin.
Betty’s Show Notes
Networking is about knowing more people. Something amazing happens when you network and connection happens. That is the moment of success because . . .connecting is about knowing people more.
What is your goal when you network? When you make connections?
Most connected people are often the most successful. Statistics support that statement. When you invest in your relationships — professional and personal — it can pay you back in dividends throughout the course of your career. The key word was “Investment”. That means you are going to give or put forth effort and resources FIRST, then ROI.
Who is the goal for you in networking and connections?
The what determines the who. Most importantly – figure out who matters. Sometimes you have to network with many to find the few solid connections. Think about the relationships you have right now that started with a person you met one year ago, five years ago, 20 years ago. How you network to make true connections is key.
Frank Agin, the President and Owner of AmSpirit, is just simply the best at networking and connecting. I have learned so much from him over the past 19 plus years. The number one thing I learned? Networking is more about connecting and engagement than to “know” everyone or be known. I am so thankful to have him as a guest on this podcast.
Are you networking, or are you connecting. There is a difference—make sure you know.
Frank Agin, AmSpirit Business Connections
Frank Agin is the founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections, where he works to empower entrepreneurs, sales representatives and professionals around the country to become more successful through networking. In addition, he is a sought after speaker and consultant to companies and organizations on topics related to professional networking and business relationship development.
Frank has written numerous articles on professional networking and is the author of several books, some of which include Foundational Networking: Building Know, Like and Trust to Create a Lifetime of Extraordinary Success, The Champion: Finding the Most Valuable Person In Your Network, and Chase Greatness: Life Lessons Revealed Through Sports. He is also the host of the weekly Networking Rx podcast, which provides insights and advice for becoming more successful through networking as well as the host of the daily micro podcast Networking Rx Minute, which provides short messages of inspiration and recommended action.
Frank has a law degree and MBA from the Ohio State University, a B.A. in Economics and Management from Beloit College, and continues his professional development through a variety of programs and sources.
For further information on Frank or to be in touch, go to his website.
Betty Collins, CPA, Brady Ware & Company and Host of the “Inspiring Women” Podcast
Betty Collins is the Office Lead for Brady Ware’s Columbus office and a Shareholder in the firm. Betty joined Brady Ware & Company in 2012 through a merger with Nipps, Brown, Collins & Associates. She started her career in public accounting in 1988. Betty is co-leader of the Long Term Care service team, which helps providers of services to Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and nursing centers establish effective operational models that also maximize available funding. She consults with other small businesses, helping them prosper with advice on general operations management, cash flow optimization, and tax minimization strategies.
In addition, Betty serves on the Board of Directors for Brady Ware and Company. She leads Brady Ware’s Women’s Initiative, a program designed to empower female employees, allowing them to tap into unique resources and unleash their full potential. Betty helps her colleagues create a work/life balance while inspiring them to set and reach personal and professional goals. The Women’s Initiative promotes women-to-women business relationships for clients and holds an annual conference that supports women business owners, women leaders, and other women who want to succeed. Betty actively participates in women-oriented conferences through speaking engagements and board activity.
Betty is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and she is the President-elect for the Columbus Chapter. Brady Ware also partners with the Women’s Small Business Accelerator (WSBA), an organization designed to help female business owners develop and implement a strong business strategy through education and mentorship, and Betty participates in their mentor match program. She is passionate about WSBA because she believes in their acceleration program and matching women with the right advisors to help them achieve their business ownership goals. Betty supports the WSBA and NAWBO because these organizations deliver resources that help other women-owned and managed businesses thrive.
Betty is a graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene College, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and a member of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. Betty is also the Board Chairwoman for the Gahanna Area Chamber of Commerce, and she serves on the Board of the Community Improvement Corporation of Gahanna as Treasurer.
“Inspiring Women” Podcast Series
“Inspiring Women” is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social and political achievement. The show is hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and presented by Brady Ware and Company. Brady Ware is committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home. Other episodes of “Inspiring Women” can be found here.
Betty Collins: [00:00:00] Today, we’re going to talk about a topic called networking, right? Well, I’m going to say stop networking and make connections. What does that mean? Well, networking is really about knowing more people, and connecting is knowing people more. I’m going to just say that again – networking is about knowing more people and connecting is about knowing people more. You need to think about that as we talk today.
Betty Collins: [00:00:29] Networking, some people think bigger is better. How many friends, how many likes, how many business cards, what’s your contacts like? For some businesses, that’s not the worst. You want volume; you want a ton of followers, especially when you’re really transactional. Networking is not always easy for people. It can be pretty awkward and, sometimes, just draining. You’re in entertainment mode way too much. Networking is- it’s often associated with just selling; so, if you don’t think you can sell, you don’t think you can network.
Betty Collins: [00:01:03] There truly is power in having a strong network, especially when you’re in business, and you’re in the marketplace. Something really amazing happens, when you network and connection happens. This is the moment of success because true connections- when you really connect with someone, you’re going to make up a community.
Betty Collins: [00:01:25] When you think of your community that you live in, or maybe the camaraderie of your office place, or maybe the associations we’re in, the ones that are the best are kind of like Mayberry; everybody gets along; everyone is in it together; they want success; there’s relationships; there’s mutual trust; there’s respect, which all has to be earned, but that’s the kind of network, and it becomes an actual connection. When I say stop networking and making connections, that’s kind of what I’m trying to get you to think about.
Betty Collins: [00:02:01] You have to really look at what is the goal for you in networking connections. Is it name recognition? Are you trying to just generate revenue? You get into hanging with the big dogs because you’re a little pup, right? How about you want introductions to certain people, or maybe you want to be at the table? There’s nothing wrong with any of those things, but you have to go, “What is the goal?” Because you could be consumed, out in the marketplace, networking all day long.
Betty Collins: [00:02:32] It’s shown that most people that are connected are generally more successful … Not bigger networks. People who are connected are often more successful. When you invest in your relationships, whether they’re professional or personal, it usually can pay a pretty big dividend back throughout the course of your career, but you have to realize what I just said – investment. That means you have to put the effort; you have to probably give first; and then, you’re going to get some return on that giving.
Betty Collins: [00:03:04] One of the missed goals, when you’re thinking about what is the goal of connecting and networking, is you can develop and improve your skill sets, when you do that, and you’re out in the marketplace, and you’re seeing how other people do things, or challenged by something you just didn’t think about.
Betty Collins: [00:03:23] Another goal, when you’re out networking, and connecting, and making those connections, is you’ve got to probably stay on the top of those latest trends, whether it’s in the market, or in your industry. I was recently at an event where they talked about the different aspects of Columbus and what was going on in the Columbus market. Of course, within probably a couple days, we were announced that we were the number-one place in the country …
Betty Collins: [00:03:48] I was able to just take a few of those tidbits, when I was out talking with people or trying to have conversations with clients. They looked at me like, “How did you know this?” Maybe it was something they didn’t know. Just like when I was at the marketing event, and I didn’t know that.
Betty Collins: [00:04:05] I think another missed goal, when you’re thinking about this whole thing of networking connection, is it keeps a pulse on the job market because you never know when you’re going to need that. I always go back to- I love this one guy who was in … He was a payroll rep for ADP, years, and years ago. He was like a lifer, because he had been there three or four years. I completely relied just on him. One day, he leaves. Now, I had nobody to really … I had no other relationships. I didn’t have any- I was not on the pulse of those connections. So, keeping the pulse on the job market, I look at that as, too, the [contact] market, when you’re trying to connect with people, but most certainly, you meet prospectives, and mentors, and partners.
Betty Collins: [00:04:48] The other thing we miss in goals, sometimes, with networking, and connecting, is your clients can gain access to your network, and then that gives them some necessary resources that will definitely foster a long relationship with them. Again, you have to go, what is the goal? Do you have one? If you don’t, you probably need to really rethink that. What am I doing? As we end the decade, and you go into 2020, what is the goal going to be for me in networking, so that I can make connections?
Betty Collins: [00:05:22] Then, after you determine that – it’s not like it’s a hard exercise, right? – who is the goal for you in networking? Who is the goal that you want to actually have connections with? Of course, the what determines the who, right? So, most importantly, but you have to figure out who matters in your network. I have a fairly large network. It’s always funny when I get happy birthday on LinkedIn. I’m like, “Now, who is this, and why did I accept this relationship? I don’t even know who they are.” You have to figure out, though, who matters in your relationship.
Betty Collins: [00:05:54] I always use this example – if you are servicing small clients, then why are you meeting with bankers who service large clients? Who is important? Who is going to meet your goals with you? Chances are, that probably isn’t, except that you could say, “I met with this big banker,” or “I know this big banker that everyone knows and wants to know.”
Betty Collins: [00:06:16] Now, there are times that you have to network before you find some really solid connections. You might have to meet a lot of people before you do. Think about, now, the relationships you have right now that started with a person, and now you don’t even know that person that connected you. I have plenty of those in my life, where it’s like, man, if I wouldn’t have met so-and-so, I wouldn’t know so-and-so, who introduced me to so-and-so.”
Betty Collins: [00:06:39] So, I don’t want to minimize the fact of liking everybody and connecting with a ton of people because you never know where that’s going to lead you, but it still has to go back … Who is the goal that you are trying to make a real connection with and have community? Also, when you’re thinking about your goal of who that is, it’s not just an external relationship, who your audience should be. I would tell you, very clearly, you need to internally make sure, in your organization …
Betty Collins: [00:07:07] I work for a organization that has 150 people, and I have four offices. I can’t just know the person sitting next to me. I’ve got to know more people in my company, especially as I’m navigating through … Because one day, I just might need people to be helping me with something, or I might want to be growing, and all the sudden, I only know this person.
Betty Collins: [00:07:28] It’s simple things about taking advantage of lunches with those internal people. Welcoming the new people. You might welcome a new person much more than someone else. It’s easier to kind of be with who you know, but you never know who that person is going to be and how they’re going to fit into the mix; into your outside and inside place.
Betty Collins: [00:07:47] I would accept and be part of office invites. It’s interesting when you’re linked to your peers. That’s one way I do with Brady Ware. I’m a link to a lot of the different offices, and then I kind of see what they’re involved with, in Atlanta, or Richmond, Indiana. When you’re thinking about networking and setting connections, you really need to think about the internal ones, not just the external. Maybe you work for five people. It’s a little bit easier. When you work for 150, it’s kind of different.
Betty Collins: [00:08:17] So, how … We talked about what is the goal, and who is the goal, and you’re defining those things. Now, it’s how do you network? How do you make those true connections? I could go to lunch three times a day, year round. Well, I don’t need lunch three times a day … You have to make it well worth your time, because, in my industry, client service is really important in my industry, making sure that the bigger I become with that, I have to really watch how much time I’m out having lunches, versus really making connections. It really comes down to I could eat lunch anywhere, but the connection part is what’s important.
Betty Collins: [00:08:54] I would suggest to you to really look at your calendar. I do it three weeks out, to go, “Why am I meeting with this person? Why is this calendar invite here? Should I even be taking the time to do that? Maybe it’s a better relationship for someone else around me than me,” and you try to do some of that.
Betty Collins: [00:09:12] The other thing is when you’re at an event, you need to look around and determine is this who I want to be around? If you’re at an event where you really don’t fit in; you’re not comfortable; you’re kind of out of the loop; or this isn’t my client; this isn’t my sweet spot; this is not connected to my industry, then you just went to another event that was really cool.
Betty Collins: [00:09:34] So, I just went to an event recently that was very interesting. It was on a Friday, and they made it very clear in the invitation, “Please be casual. This is really going to be just a time of getting to know some people in our network.” What they made sure happened was … First, there was a whole slew of professionals that they use. But the other part they did was the location was awesome. It was at the Italian Club – I think is what it was called – downtown. Cool place. Very cool. The food was easy, but phenomenal. You were carbed out on a Friday afternoon. There was no ‘fold the napkin, use the right fork’ situation. There were no suits on in the room.
Betty Collins: [00:10:14] The greatest thing they did was they brought clients that would really benefit the professionals. Then, they brought professionals that would really benefit the clients. It was really a lunch that was worth going to because there was such connection and there was such synergy. The room was filled with who you wanted to be with. That’s a really important thing, when you’re looking at events, and as you’re signing up to go.
Betty Collins: [00:10:43] I’ve been in public accounting since 1988, so I’ve been in the marketplace a long time, but I didn’t start networking till 2000; 12 years later. I was really good inside. I was really good with running … My firm, at that time, was small. I was good with just being behind my computer, talking with people that I already knew. Then, I became a shareholder. “Oh, you need to go get business.” Oh? I have no clue … Most of you who know me would think, “Oh, well, that would be simple for you. That would be easy for you.” No. There’s very few people, I think, in the marketplace that just love the idea of, “I’m going to go out and get new clients today and make relationships. I’m going to close the deal,” and the art of the deal, and all those things. That’s not usually the comfort level of people.
Betty Collins: [00:11:28] So I did join a group called AmSpirit Business Connections. It was the first time I had to tell people who I was, and what I did, and what I liked, and it was very nerve-wracking. I just was like, “Oh, my goodness!” I had to really think through that, “30-second commercial,” let alone just demonstrate to a group of people that I could take care of their clients. Never had to do that before. Never was out there. Don’t wait 12 years into your career to do that.
Betty Collins: [00:11:56] It took me a few years, too, to be comfortable. It wasn’t all success from day one. I still connect with people from that group. I’m not currently in AmSpirit Business Connections, but Frank Agin, the president and owner of AmSpirit, is just simply the best at networking that I’ve known. I’ve learned a lot from him over the last 19-20 years. The number-one thing I learned is more about connecting engagement than “knowing” everyone or to be known. It was really about be engaging and work on your relationship, not get to know everyone as much as you can.
Betty Collins: [00:12:35] I kind of went to the next level, when I joined a local chamber in Gahanna; became very involved. Then, I also got involved with NAWBO. Those two places were places where it became definitely connections. I was connected to it. This became relationships. Gahanna is my community, where I live, so there was a little bit more ownership there. It just really got me out.
Betty Collins: [00:13:00] In that organization, people started asking me to speak or be on panels, which was something I was just terrified of. But that really helped me become connected, and networking, and connected with people. So, it was really kind of a gift, even though, at the time, it was like, “Oh, my goodness!” The more I networked that led to actual connection, I began having, finally, success in the marketplace; in building my business, and connecting my clients to the right people. And just, then, at the end of the day, having a different kind of impact.
Betty Collins: [00:13:32] What were the lessons I learned over that timeframe? Again, I go back to if you serve small clients, why are you networking with bankers who serve large ones? You follow up. You thank the person you met that you really want to have a connection with. If you don’t have more than one meeting, you’re probably not going to make … It’s not probably going to be a connection, as much as it’s just going to be, “I networked today.” If you got somebody’s business card, and met him once, would you …? If you got my business card and met me once, would you say, “I’m going to be … I’m going to do accounting with her”? Probably not.
Betty Collins: [00:14:08] Then, I really learned to quit focusing on the sale aspect. You always know when you’re selling too much because people immediately retreat. If you’re perceptive at all, you kind of see it. Then, some connections, you know what? They’re just not meant to be. It’s okay. I’ve gone to some things, where I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, that was awful.” Even when they emailed me back and said, “Can I have an appointment?” sometimes you ignore them, and you delete them. I just know enough, now, who I am going to spend time with and who I’m going to really make a connection with.
Betty Collins: [00:14:41] Tips, to me, that take networking to connection levels, where you’re really making some connections? You’ve got to be yourself. You’ve got to be fairly open. Let me rephrase that – you’ve got to connect … You’ve got to be yourself, and open, but do not be telling your life story the first time you meet somebody. Be infectious, when you’re personable, which is really spreading your influence in a pretty rapid manner, and people are drawn to you. That kind of takes time to develop. If you’re too infectious- again, if you’re too personal, if you’re too much in selling, all those things backfire on you.
Betty Collins: [00:15:19] Be inquisitive. It’s not all about you. Here’s the typical question – “So, who do you work for?” or, “Hey, what do you do?” You could say, “How do you like working for your company?” and, “Well, tell me a little bit more about your company.” Of course, if they say, “I don’t like working there,” then you probably need to move on. “How did you get in this position? What drew you to this field?” Think about a different way to ask some questions, where it’s a little more inquisitive, and it really reflects on them. You could even take it a step further and ask them some advice in their industry; see what they’re made of on their feet like that.
Betty Collins: [00:15:54] Be generous when you’re out there. When I meet someone that I pretty, pretty connect with really well, and I could see a future in that relationship, I try to be generous, and like give them tickets to events. How many events do you have in your life, where you’re trying to get rid of a ticket? I did this with NAWBO lunch. I mean, guests are $20. When there’s a really good event, I try to take a couple people for 20 bucks, and they get to be in a roomful of 100 women. They may not even know who NAWBO is, let alone think they can afford that, or maybe they can’t afford it. You take them. You be generous in that, and they’ll be grateful. They’ll give something back to you, probably; or it’s just another way to make connection with them.
Betty Collins: [00:16:37] I would tell you that speaking, being on panels, or getting people in speaking gigs, or getting them on panels only when they have something really good to say, and they can say it well. Do not recommend somebody that cannot get out there and do it. Trust me, it’s never, never good because the reflection is on you when they really get on front of the stage, and they’re horrible; or they’re on a panel, and they don’t stick to a two-minute response time. But it is a good way to network. That is a way to make connection, where you’re placing people in the right place.
Betty Collins: [00:17:11] Then, think people. Get over positions. Sometimes, it’s, “I want to know the CEO of that company.” Maybe you need to know the children of the CEO in the company, because if you’re the same age as that person, guess what? They could be retiring a lot sooner than you maybe, or not be there as long. Sometimes, getting some younger people in your network, where you’re helping them, and they love your knowledge, and they love what they’re getting from you. They kind of think you’re a big dog, right? If you help them with certain steps in their career, or in their business that has lasting impact, you’re going to have some different generations behind you, as well. It’s a great way to go, plus, it gives you a little energy; gives you a little step, versus hanging out with the old people like us, right?
Betty Collins: [00:17:59] You help them because you know what to do. They have to want the help, but it could end up being a lifetime relationship for you, for sure. As I get older, my clients are selling, so if I don’t have some younger client behind me, to some degree, or younger people surrounding me, or younger connections who are starting to retire, your network could easily shrink pretty quickly. So, think position, yeah, but, really, I would think the person. Think the people.
Betty Collins: [00:18:26] This is one … You all know somebody like this. Stop treating the schmoozing like your busines-card contest collection. Start over with some new goals and think about quality over quantity. I look at that person and think they really are into, “I’ve got this collection of business cards, and I know everyone in town.” And then, you talk to that person in town, and they’re like, “Who are you talking about?” Name droppers; people who are totally about the collection – those are people you probably don’t want to connect with. If you are that person, you need to probably really go back to the who, the what, and say, “Let’s set some new goals with quality over quantity.”
Betty Collins: [00:19:11] Networking or connecting? Networking that leads to good connection … There is a difference, and you need to make sure you know that. You’re either green and growing, or you are ripe and you’re rotting. There is a difference. When you’re out there in the marketplace trying to make connections, and trying to grow, and trying to be different, you have to think differently. Knowing what to do and doing it are not the same thing. So, I would challenge you, today, to change your mindset on networking or connecting.
Betty Collins: [00:00:00] I hope you enjoyed the podcast today on “Stop Networking, Start Connecting.” I did this podcast because I could network and be out and about all day long but have no fruits from it; no results that I like. When I talk about the connection piece, I’m really talking about it’s got to … Networking is not a bad thing. It’s not like you stop that, obviously, but it’s got to make a connection that goes into a relationship.
Betty Collins: [00:00:30] There’s no one who can talk about this better than Frank Agin, who is the president and founder of AmSpirit Business Connections. Over my career, for sure, and through my business journey, Frank has been very influential in my networking and connection abilities. He’s simply the best at it. His organization and all the connections that have led to relationships have been there. So, I welcome you today, Frank, and thank you for taking the time to spend with me today. First, why don’t you just tell about you, the organization – that 30-second commercial thing that we talk about.
Frank Agin: [00:01:03] Sure.
Betty Collins: [00:01:04] It can go longer. It can go longer.
Frank Agin: [00:01:05] Yeah, I used to be an attorney, and I got into a networking organization … I’ll make the long story really short. I got into a networking organization; liked it so much, I bought it. I haven’t practiced law since 2004; it’s been a long time. What we do at AmSpirit Business Connections is we help entrepreneurs, sales reps, and professionals get more referrals through networking. It’s a for-profit membership-based type organization, where they come together with other like-minded individuals on a consistent basis to go through a consistent meeting program to learn about each other, and establish relationships, and exchange referrals.
Betty Collins: [00:01:47] I know I’ve benefited greatly from it. I can remember my first meeting, going back to those days, and I just thought, “I’ve never had to tell anyone a thing about myself, let alone ask anything.” Most people would think that Betty Collins could do this in her sleep; she’s personable, and on and on. It was a huge challenge for me. But, all the sudden, business development became this top, top thing that I had to do. So, it really, truly helped me through those times. I have some of my younger generation now in AmSpirit from Brady Ware, and they’re really enjoying it, for sure. I talk about stop networking and start connecting, but I want you to tell me what you think all that means. Tell me the difference between networking, connection, and leading to relationships.
Frank Agin: [00:02:34] Networking gets a bad rap. It does. People kind of think of networking as the aluminum-siding sales guy, used-car salesmen, or … We’re picking on men here. Perfect show for it, right? It gets a bad rap because people think of it so much as sales. They really kind of align those two. I look at networking this way – networking is a verb. It’s an action. Networking is really about getting out there and being amongst other people. From that, you make connections. People that you learn their names, they learn you, but really, the end game to it all is establishing relationships.
Frank Agin: [00:03:14] We do business with those that we know, we like, and we trust. All things being equal, we do business with those sorts of people. All things being unequal, and the example I always use is insurance … I pay too much … Well, I could pay less for my car insurance. I know I could. I just know I could, but I really like my auto-insurance guy. He’ll go to bat for me. He will do things. I can speak to lots of professionals in my life that I have this relationship with them. I can get it cheaper, but I wouldn’t have the relationship. There’s something about that relationship that just kind of pulls us together. So, it’s really about the relationships.
Betty Collins: [00:03:55] Sure, sure. I have had this same scenario. From the very first AmSpirit group I was in, my car-insurance guy has been there, and my house … I’ve never had a reason to change, and it was just because there was a relationship that was forged. I don’t have a reason to go look for 10 bucks a month or call an 800 number. Generally, who is the successful networker/connector? Who is that? What do they look like?
Frank Agin: [00:04:27] I don’t know about actual look. It’s more actions, and it’s really people who are focused on trying to help others, providing value to the world, providing value to others. In their mind, they ask … We all ask this question- the question we ask when we meet somebody new is, “What’s in it for me?” That’s very primitive. That’s a very primitive question to ask: “Okay, I’ve met this person. What’s in it for me?” Because we’re in a survival mode.
Frank Agin: [00:04:55] But the person who’s successful in networking is able to push beyond that question and ask the second question. The second question is, “What can I do for this person? What can I do for the person I’m meeting?” If you stop and think about it, everybody I encounter, probably about two percent will benefit me. Two percent can be a member of my organization, or a franchisee, or client, however you want to look at it. But 100 percent, I can help somehow, some way. The successful networkers, they’re kind of driven by that. I can tell, when I talk to somebody, it doesn’t take long to find out, by the questions they ask, where their mind is. If it’s constantly, “Hey, what’s in it for me? What’s in it for me?” I know they’re not a good networker. Doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, just that they’re not operating at that networking level.
Betty Collins: [00:05:42] Right. Well, I know that was probably the thing I learned the most is you … Especially when you’re saying, “What am I going to do for this person?” That’s the mindset you have to be in. It can be simple things, such as inviting them to events, or getting them on a panel, or getting them a speaking gig, or any of those type of things. It’s not necessarily leading to business, but you’re helping them get there. It’s not getting me any business because I got someone on a panel. But you just never know where that will lead to, because it’s truly helping them to connect where they need to be, or a place that they could really help your client, and that’s valuable to the client.
Frank Agin: [00:06:23] Right.
Betty Collins: [00:06:23] I just recently had somebody who … I said, “Who’s your …” They’re frustrated all the time with the bank, and I said, “Well, who’s your banker?” They go, “We love the teller.”.
Frank Agin: [00:06:35] Yeah, that’s the problem.
Betty Collins: [00:06:37] I said, “Who’s your banker? You want loans, and you want lines of credit, and you want these things, and you don’t have a banker.” So, I got them connected to a banker, and they have just been so grateful. I didn’t get anything out of that … You’re right in the terms of ‘but it helped my client.’ It definitely helped them. So, what are those common mistakes in networking …? I have those moments where I dread going to networking things because I know who’s going to be there, and I don’t want to deal with that.
Frank Agin: [00:07:07] Right.
Betty Collins: [00:07:07] Help the audience understand – this is probably what you shouldn’t do when you’re trying to network, and connect, and making that relationship really work.
Frank Agin: [00:07:17] Well, I think some of the common mistakes that people run into and probably the reason that keeps people away from networking events is they go in with the mindset of, “Okay, what am I going to try and get out of this?” What I always say … I call it my cloak of invincibility; when I walk into a networking event, I am there to help people. I’m a superhero. I’m here to help. If you don’t want my help, that’s okay, but very few people are going to reject somebody who’s trying to help them.
Frank Agin: [00:07:45] People get stuck with small talk; don’t know how to make small talk because they’re always so worried about what they have to say. What I tell people is, “Don’t worry about what you have to say. Get them talking. Allow them to talk; explore where they’re coming from.” Then you can just relax and let it come to you. I think people have, with respect to networking, they just- they think it’s got to work according to some preordained schedule, and you just don’t know. You know, in your life, there are things that have come out of the woodwork that you set in motion years ago. I hear that’s a common theme. “I ran into this person at a wedding 10 years ago. Now, they’re finally a client.” That happens.
Betty Collins: [00:08:30] Well, I know I was appreciative for some of those things that I learned early on, when I realy had to get into the business-development world. Now, I’m kind of in a world where I want to have impact more. I say the word ‘legacy’ probably too much because I’m 56 but having connections and relationships where you can really have some impact is huge. It’s not even just about building my business at this point. That’s why it’s so important to just stop the networking thing. Utilize that as a venue to make real connections that end up in lasting relationships. So, wrap it up for me. What is the takeaway, today, to the audience, that you would love to communicate to them?
Frank Agin: [00:09:13] You need to find ways to help other people. One of my many sayings … My kids will roll their eyes if they hear this. One of my many sayings is that everything you get out of life is tied to what you do in life. You just can’t see the string. It’s so true because things will happen, and you don’t know how they were set in motion.
Frank Agin: [00:09:33] You just need to focus on trying to find ways to help other people. I’m not talking about pulling your wallet out of your pocket and giving to charity. I’m talking about being encouraging to others. Introducing to people that don’t know each other is huge. Me being on this show is huge. There’s lots of ways that we can help one another. Just focus on helping one another, and don’t worry how it all pieces together. You just have to kind of trust the process. It does work.
Betty Collins: [00:09:59] Well, I appreciate you being here today, taking the time to be part of my podcast. I will tell you, if you’re an entrepreneur, or a sales rep, a professional, and you would like to generate a greater percentage of your business from referrals, you should consider AmSpirit Business Connection as an option for doing that. If you’d like to become better at building your network and making those connections that end up building relationships, you need to reach out to Frank, via his LinkedIn, or through his website, FrankAgin.com. Agin is A-G-I-N, And it’s all one word. So, FrankAgin.com. I can’t encourage you enough to stop networking. Make connections that build relationships.