Networking Know-How

It goes without saying that in order to attract affluent clients you must associate yourself with affluent people. Most of you know this and already belong to a country club or are active in your local religious organizations. But are you taking full advantage of existing business relationships that could yield new clients?

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Networking. A word often used loosely. Dictionary.com defines it as a verb meaning “To interact or engage in informal communication with others for mutual assistance or support.” So how formal or informal should networking be? One of the smartest means by which to generate new business is membership in a networking club. These informal organizations, often of 15 to 25 members, are an excellent way to drum up new business. Frequently, these groups are associated with novices, but, more and more, openings in mature groups become available; this can be a prime opportunity, as an established group of heavy-hitters who have grown businesses together can become a stable source of revenue for you. If you decide to build your own club, make sure you build it with like-minded service professionals who cater to an affluent clientele. 
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A networking group I joined for a day on Long Island in New York considers itself on the small side (15 members maximum), admitting only one person per profession. Members pay $300 in dues annually and meet every other Tuesday for breakfast (the dues cover these breakfasts all year long).

Suggested professionals to include in your group are: an estate planning attorney, an investment counselor, a certified public accountant, a life insurance counselor, commercial and residential real estate brokers, a tax attorney and a banking professional (money lender). These professionals work with savvy, affluent clients and other important folks to whom you’ll now be in a position to refer out.

Just as important as networking to increase your business is networking with top personnel of luxury suppliers. Never one to miss an opportunity to plug Luxury Travel Expo myself, the event truly remains the only one in travel at which the company representatives you meet are more often than not GMs, presidents and VPs. Cunard not only sends their regional sales managers, but Vice President Lee Robinson as well. Micato Safaris’ Managing Director Dennis Pinto welcomed guests to his company’s booth, and Gary Murphy, president of Brendan Worldwide Vacations, personally greeted visitors as well.
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So, maximize your business relationships and spend time in the places that benefit you most, be it a diner on Long Island on a Tuesday morning or at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in December. Make the most of your time and formalize your networking today!




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