Build a Network like Branson or Trump

I was the guest at a fantastic event last week my friend Ramon Ray co-hosts called the “Small Business Influencer Awards & Gala” where they honored the top 100 small business influencers across the country. View the photos here – Event Photos.

3,000 people were nominated and of those, the top 100 were chosen by their peer community through online voting.

Now you might wonder how these 100 people were able to obtain enough votes to win.

Well, let me tell you a little story.

Before the gala, I attended the NY Business Expo & Conference, which was held at the same location.

My focus on attending both events was to meet key people.

I researched those people online beforehand, went to the conference, found each person, introduced myself and said, “I love what you’re doing, how can I help you with _________”.

This is the way I’ve always approached “networking”. Although I never liked the term networking, I always looked at it as relationship building.

My focus has always been on getting to know the person and then thinking of who I can connect them with that can help them.

Now whenever I meet a person at an even that I don’t know, I ask a series of questions to find out more about them and then I try to figure out the best person, or people, to connect them with.

During the event I had the chance to sit in on a break out session hosted by a gentleman named Rod Colon.

He called a guy from the audience up and said, “Have you met any interesting people at this event?”

The guy said, “Yeah”.

Then Rod said, “Tell me the name of one person you met and what you know about them.”

The guy kind of fumbled and said, “Uh, um, let me see….” He didn’t have an answer.

Then, he pulled out a few business cards from his pocket, looked through them, and picked one out.

He said the person’s name and Rod said, “And what do you know about this person?”

The guy again had nothing to say.

So Rod asked “What did you talk about?”

Then the guy said, “Well, I told him about my business and what I do. And then he told me about his business and what he does.”

And Rod said, “So tell me, if you couldn’t remember the name of this person and what he does, do you think he remembers you and what you do?” And the guy smiled embarrassingly.

Rod then made a really awesome, and true statement, he said, “Networking is based on goodwill”. He couldn’t have been more right!

The reality is, people rarely care about what you do. What they care about is who you are, and, if they like you or not.

People often think success has to do with what you know. When the truth is, it has more to do with who you know and how you treat them.

Success is not achieved alone.

Statistics show that people are more likely to do business with someone they know or someone who is recommended to them vs. a total stranger. See if this holds true for you.

Like my friend Dan Lack says, “I focus on trying to figure out how I can care about the person.” And Dan is definitely a master connector and relationship builder.

If you haven’t heard my training interview with Dan, you can hear it for free by clicking the “Home” link at the top of the page and opting in on the right side of the page.

Dan gives some really fantastic information on relationship building, how to follow-up, and how to grow the relationship over time.

Dan has worked with Keith Ferazzi, the famous author of “Never Eat Alone”, so you can imagine the type of tidbits he shares in this interview.

So next time you’re at an event, think about how you can turn the conversation to the other person.

Ask questions to get to know them, not just what they do for a living.

Ask what they like to do for fun, places they’ve traveled to, organizations they belong to, charities they’re involved with, etc.

And then, think about who you know that you can connect them with.

This will then create goodwill with people, who in turn will want to help you.

Just don’t expect a “favor” in return as this isn’t a tit for tat game.

When the time is right, they’ll think of you and remember you helped them and the favor will be returned, even if it’s several years down the road.

I’ve learned that these are the strategies that all successful people use, especially people like Branson and Trump.

And while they may not ask you at an event how they can help you, they definitely help the close people in their network on a continual basis.

Now the top 100 influencers at the gala were chosen by their peer network.

And if we asked their network, I bet many would say that they helped them in some way.

I hope you found this information helpful as my goal is to share info with you that will help you grow your business.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Here’s to your success in everything you do,


P.S. If you found this information helpful, like, comment and share! Sharing helpful content is the best way to support and grow our entrepreneurial community. 🙂

P.P.S. Click Here and then register on the right side of the page to get the free training interview I did with Dan Lack.