While it is true that your social life can and should lead to business referrals, it is a good idea for luxury real estate marketing professionals to separate the concept of business networking and social networking.   Business networking can actually increase your bottom line faster because of its focused nature and clear intention: helping one another develop more business. What can be more clear, simple and, most importantly, direct?  

Last night, while on Linked In we noticed a profile of a CEO of a company on the east coast (we are in Santa Barbara, CA) with whom we shared common interests. There was immediate recognition of potential synergies between our companies. We are in a professional group together but we had not yet met. So, we invited him to also join the Language of Luxury group on Linked In.   Within minutes we noticed that he had joined LOL.   

By the time we woke up this morning we received a direct email from him suggesting that we connect.  He too, believed that there were possible ways to develop some business together which we confirmed in a wonderful phone conversation this A.M. Yes, we just used the “P” word! 

Phones are the missing link in online networking. In fact, the entire purpose of business networking online is to set up a phone conversation.  Between Skype, which is free, and smart phones with ridiculously low monthly fees (as compared to the cost of long distance calls in previous decades), there is absolutely no excuse for not picking up the phone.   Now, you can actually have an instant face-to-face meeting (e.g., with Skype video or iPhone 4 “face time”).

Business networking, online facilitates WARM PHONE CALLS! And, that is what most luxury real estate marketing professionals have lost sight of in this hurricane of white noise about social networking.

This very same morning, Alexandra noticed that an interesting company just started following us on Twitter.  She always looks up each of our followers’ profiles to see if there is a commonality and a reason to connect by phone.  In this case, there was, indeed, potential for mutual business.  So, Alexandra shot off a email and suggested that we connect directly. 

Within 5minutes we got a phone call from the director of business development from this company!  [Rapid response communication is one of our most highly valued business practices]. We had an excellent conversation and set up a phone meeting with the CEO of the company for Friday ( 2 days later).

Can you see the difference in the speed of concrete results between social networking and business networking online?  The key to successful business networking interactions is having it be equally important to give as it is to receive.  Sometimes there is only giving on your part.  But, it all balances out if you keep an abundant mindset, which is worth acquiring and maintaining in the field of luxury real estate marketing.


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