This is a transcript of Episode 050 of the Epic Business Growth for CPAs podcast. Enjoy!

Nikki: [00:00:00] If I’m going to meetings and I’m walking out, and I’m not getting my three, two ones consistently, I look at that and go, first of all, what did I not do right? Like I’m going to look internally and go, did I make an effort? Because if I just went in and was like, Hey, let’s see what happens, and I’m just going to grab a glass of wine and hang out in the corner and talk to somebody who I’ve known for ten years, that might not be the best use of my time. 

Geraldine: [00:00:26] Welcome to the She Thinks Big Podcast, where you’ll hear from women entrepreneurs who are doing good in the world from spark to screw up to success. Thinking big is in their core. It’s in yours, and it’s in mine. 

I’ve traveled to 50 countries and seven continents, done an Ironman, and co-founded a company that has generated millions of dollars for sustainability. My name is Geraldine Carter, and I’m delighted to share with you, conversations and coaching with amazing women. Time to get inspired and grow your impact. 

My guest today is Nikki Rausch of Your Sales Maven. I invited Nikki to come on the She Thinks Big Podcast because she is a pro at helping people leverage their network to earn more business. And when I started out in my own business, I kept hearing this term bandied about “leveraging your network,” leverage your network, leverage your network.

And I was like, what the hell does that mean leverage your network? And how does one go about leveraging their network? You know, I just think of my giant network of nodes and a lever, and I’m like, what? How? What do I do? Give me some steps. Put that into something tangible, some action items, a one, two, three that I can actually sit down and execute on.

I have no idea what leverage your network means. And because Nikki is so good at not only leveraging her own network but also teaching her clients how to leverage their network, I wanted to bring her on to help demystify this leverage your network business. So that you can look at your network and see what you’re looking for inside your network and to figure out ways to connect to the people that you would really like to meet.

And it turns out that it’s not nearly as hard as you think. So, let’s get started with Nikki Rausch. 

Nikki, welcome back to the, She Thinks Big podcast. 

Nikki: [00:02:17] Thank you so much for having me back. I am so honored that you asked me to come back. 

Geraldine: [00:02:22] I was so excited to talk with you today about something I think will be a real value to listeners, and that is, how to find more of your ideal clients who are already inside your network?

Nikki: [00:02:37] Yes. I love this topic. 

Geraldine: [00:02:39] Yes. I think that there are a lot of people who are looking for more clients, want more clients, and don’t know where to look to find them. And they end up looking all over the place. And I sort of liken it to, I don’t know, a teapot with like all the lids and you keep looking, there’s like all these pots on your stove, and there are all these lids in your keep on looking under all these.

And they’re not in there, and you just wonder, should I look under this one already? I can’t find they’re not over here; they are over there. Maybe I’ll go over there and just run around crazy with diffuse efforts, and they don’t get near the traction that they want or that they could have if they had a better system and better tactics for finding clients who are already in their network.

Nikki: [00:03:20] It’s also the, it reminds me, I’m not going to quote this exactly right, but it’s a Lewis Carroll quote. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. So, it’s so important that you know who is your ideal client and because it’s hard to find them anywhere if you don’t know who that person is and it’s really hard for other people in your network to help you find people if you can’t articulate who it is that you serve.

Geraldine: [00:03:49] Right. And if you can’t articulate who you serve, there’s no way that your network is going to be able to articulate for you, who you serve. 

Nikki: [00:03:58] That’s right. 

Geraldine: [00:03:58] So, let’s talk about identifying your ideal client. When you work with people, what tips do you have for them to begin to narrow down who they work with and who they no longer work with?

Nikki: [00:04:12] Well, one tip, and this is, I actually have an exercise for women. I work with my VIP clients that I run them through, which is an ideal client profile exercise. And one of the one piece of this exercise that I think is really important to touch on is, it’s one thing to decide who it is that you want to target and who you want your ideal client to be.

But the piece that I find most people don’t ever put any thought around is, are you the person that that ideal client would hire? And making sure that you really are putting yourself out there in a way that leads those people to hire you. So, you might want to work with businesses that are doing a certain revenue dollar amount or have a certain number of employees or have a particular type of industry or market. 

And it’s really important that when you are having conversations, that you are speaking right to the heart of that person’s business so that they get a sense like, Oh, this is my person. Like you are the person that can help me. So, really making sure that you are like one that you have the capacity and the capabilities and the credibility to attract those people, and then two, that you’re speaking that language, right? 

That it goes out on your social media posts, when you’re in your bio, it goes into your website. It is how you show up in a room. You need to know who that person is so that you’re speaking right to them all the time. 

Geraldine: [00:05:55] And speaking to them in super simple terms that they would use themselves, right? Not talking about the high level or too technical for them, you’re speaking right at the level that they would complain about their business woes to their colleagues or their spouse when they get home. 

Nikki: [00:06:14] Yes. I’m not talking about jargon, right? Like that’s not what I mean. It’s more of presenting yourself in a way that’s what is going to be important to that person when they’re deciding on hiring somebody to do what you do.

You do have to learn like, what are the things that are going to attract them? And spending some time to really think about that and then go, Hey, so I know that these things are important to these people. Am I showing up this way? I mean, something is simple, and this is like super simple, but, are you dressing the part?

And I’m not trying to be a fashion consultant here. As a matter of fact, my stylist would say I’m not qualified, and I’m not qualified, but at the same time, like that’s one of the reasons that I work with a stylist is because I do want to attract a certain level of clientele and like I’m not capable of doing some of this on my own.

And so I hire professionals to help me show up, to send the message that I most want to send. So if you’re showing up in jeans and a tee-shirt, and you’re trying to work with people in the corporate world, like they’re not going to give you their business. So pay attention. I always say, everything counts. It all counts. 

So from the way that you speak and the way that you exude, when you’re talking about who you are and what you do, but also just your appearance, like are you really showing up in a way that sends the message, I am your person. 

Geraldine: [00:07:43] Yes, I love it. So, once you’ve identified who is your person and you’re showing up the way that your person wants you to show up so that they’re sending right the right signal, like, I am the one for you. How do we go about finding who are those people? 

Nikki: [00:08:02] Well, the first thing is like, which is the topic of this conversation is to use your network, because your network knows these people, right? And so one of the things that people often push back because this is one of the assignments that I give my VIP clients is going out and using, not using, but asking the people that they have real true relationships and connections with, people who are raving fans of them. 

Going out and asking those people to make very specific introductions on their behalf. And I get a lot of pushback initially from clients on this because they go like, I don’t want to ask anybody to help me in that, it feels like I sound desperate.

Well, I give them language first of all, and how to do this. In a way that allows for the other person to actually do them a favor. Which then feels good to the person who’s doing the favor and making the introduction. But it does help you reach your ideal person much quicker, and you ride the credibility coattails of the person who makes the introduction on your behalf into that relationship. 

So, for instance, if you reached out to me and said, Hey Nikki, I want to introduce you to somebody. Whoever that somebody is already is going to have a tremendous amount of credibility with me. I’m at least going to take their call or set up a time to chat with them because I hold you in such high regard.

And the same works, so, that’s how it works for you. When you want to have a conversation with your ideal client, you want that credibility kind of built-up because most of us are getting contacted all day long from random people that want to sell us something that we have no relationship with and no connection to them.

Those people are never getting on my schedule. It’s only people that are coming through my network generally that get me live. So, be sure that you are using your network to schedule those introductions and those connections. 

Geraldine: [00:10:04] There are a couple of things in there that I want to tug on, and one of them is the credibility coattails.

I love the imagery to start and the idea that because so many of us are bombarded all day long with messages and notifications, and all sorts of things, that a warm handoff from somebody who is inside our network who we know like and trust. If somebody comes to us and says, Hey, I really want you to meet this person for XYZ reason, we’re going to take special notice in the same way that if I get a card in my physical mailbox with handwriting on it, I’m going to be like, wait, what?

I got to open this thing. This thing is awesome. Nobody does this anymore. And it seems to me like that a warm handoff introduction is an underused tool in all of our toolboxes that’s available to us, that should we leverage it, could really benefit us. 

Nikki: [00:10:59] Yes. This piece, like this connection, this introduction piece, it is always my go-to for my clients, because I call it the low hanging fruit. Now, oftentimes, clients initially think it’s the scariest, like the hardest thing to do, and if anybody who’s listening feels that way, like agrees with my clients initially, here’s what I would suggest. You’ll be the person who starts making connections for others and see how freaking awesome it is to introduce two people who are going to benefit in some way by knowing each other and connecting and how good that feels to you.

And then you might realize that this is not as big of an ask as you think it is, and it can open doors that realistically you cannot open on your own. 

Geraldine: [00:11:51] Yes. And I can speak to that directly, right? With you, having made an introduction for me on my behalf to somebody that benefits me in a huge way and benefits them in a huge way. 

Nikki: [00:12:02] And I’m so like, that makes me feel so good to be the person who did that.

Geraldine: [00:12:07] Yes. You’re so happy to do it. Yes, to watch both of us benefit. It was really great. And there’s this other piece here that I want to call out, and that was, you said something like inside another person’s head, you know, I don’t want to ask for help. It makes me feel desperate. And I want to draw a distinction between asking for help and being desperate.

So many people have help and either desperate or weak or what have you tied together. And those are not one in the same. Asking for help, it does not make you desperate. 

Nikki: [00:12:35] No. 

Geraldine: [00:12:36] All of us need help. There’s nobody here who’s done their business alone. 

Nikki: [00:12:39] Yes. None of us got here alone. Like, it’s funny because I just got off of a discovery call with a prospective client and this person, I’m not going to go into who it is, but this person and how they got their start is something that most of us would never get our start in our businesses in this way, but it was such a public way for this person to get a start. 

And he’s built a business around it, and none of us just start from like, nowhere with nobody helping us. And if we do, then to me that says, it is time for you to reach out to your connections because, like I didn’t get my business to where it is today on my own by any stretch of the imagination. 

I have a laundry list of people who have supported me and helped me and opened doors for me that I couldn’t have gotten there without them.

So, that’s just to say like, don’t do this alone. It’s not. One of my good friends, she always says like, this is not the lone wolf. Like you’re not in business to be the lone wolf. 

Geraldine: [00:13:50] Awesome. I love it. So, what’s another way that we can leverage our network to help us find more ideal clients?

Nikki: [00:13:59] Well, one of the other ways is to be really clear in your communication when you’re talking to, for instance, your clients. Helping them recognize what are the things that make you unique and that serve them in some way and capitalizing on those times. 

So, for instance, if somebody is raving about something that you did for them or how their business has grown as a result of working with you or whatever that piece is, that’s a really opportune time to say, thank you. I really appreciate that. I love being on this journey with you. 

This is common. That’s what I say when my clients say this to me, and then it’s okay to follow up to say, is it okay to ask? Like, who do you know that would also benefit from this? And would you be willing to make an introduction on my behalf?

Never be afraid to like add that extra line that I just put in there, which is, and would you be willing to make an introduction on my behalf? And even if they say yes and don’t do it right then, it’s totally okay because this is a planting seeds exercise. Not all of them, not all your seeds are going to like pop up and grow into something beautiful.

And many of those seeds will pop up, and they’ll pop up at times when you least expect them, but they will only pop if you plant them initially. So you’ve got to plant the seed. 

Geraldine: [00:15:25] You can’t have flowers if you don’t plant seeds. 

Nikki: [00:15:27] That’s right. You cannot have flowers. And sometimes, you can not have clients if you don’t plant seeds.

Geraldine: [00:15:32] Yes. And seeds take seven to ten days to sprout, and they take 80 to 90 days to turn into flowers. So you have to be out there planting seeds and giving them time to do their thing. 

Nikki: [00:15:44] Yes. I have a client who, when I gave her kind of this initial assignment of using her network, and there were a few other things that we did, and about a few weeks in, she was like, Nikki, this is horrible. I hate this. I’m spending so much time just having casual conversations, and I’m like, keep going. 

And four months in, she’s like, I can’t believe the amount of business that is coming my way, and we can track it all back to these activities that she was doing because you can do a million posts on social media and get nothing.

Geraldine: [00:16:21] Yes.

Nikki: [00:16:22] You can use your network and really find the gold. 

Geraldine: [00:16:27] And can you talk a little bit more about that? Because I see so many people like I use the pots with lids example at the beginning and one of the pots with a lid on it is social media. And that’s like four pots between Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and spending so much time with those tools.

Not that they’re not great tools, I use them, you use them, but we can invest a lot of time and bandwidth to those tools without a lot of return. 

Nikki: [00:16:58] Yes. One of the things is that, I find that a lot of my clients are not willing to even put out there on social media like some of their wins. Right? Because

Geraldine: [00:17:13] Are you talking to me? 

Nikki: [00:17:15] I mean, not specifically, but, okay. 

Geraldine: [00:17:18] But, okay. Maybe a little.

Nikki: [00:17:19] Okay. Maybe a little, cause we talk about this, don’t we? We talk about how important it is to be willing to treat your business like it’s a separate entity and be willing to brag about it a little bit and not in an obnoxious way, like, look at me, I’m a really big deal kind of way. 

But being willing to share wins, out into social media because the things that you say about yourself and about your business, other people will start to say, and believe about your business as well. So, please approach this with a high level of integrity. Do not say things that are not true and be willing to put it out there.

When your clients have big wins, it’s okay to share how you played a part in that. You don’t even have to give a lot of specifics, but it does help build your credibility into social media. And again, like how much time are you going to spend doing that? Well, that’s probably a discussion for another day and probably with a different expert than me, and I don’t spend a tremendous amount of time on social media, but I am on social media, and I do have people that support me to do that.

And most of my time that’s spent on social media is spent actually inside my private group in my membership, which is my society, the Sales Maven society. That’s where I spend the majority of my time because those people are paying me money to support them, and I’m there to support them. 

Geraldine: [00:18:48] Can we talk for a minute about, why is networking? Because so many of us when we hear networking, and we’re in our businesses, and we’re thinking about networking events, most of us are like, ooh.

And you know, even though we go to networking events, and once we’re there oftentimes, we bump into people who we know, and we’re glad to see. Sometimes there are some events that we both loathe going to, and once we’ve returned, we loathe the fact that we’ve gone. And think for a lot of us in business who are in local businesses, it can be challenging to know which, where to spend our time, attention, and focus.

And a lot of us go to every single thing under the sun, or we go like, we’re just all over the place, and we’re not as targeted as we might be in our networking activities. And I’m wondering what tips you have for people who attend networking events, who would like to enjoy it more and have it be more effective?

Nikki: [00:19:58] I love this question. I really think that one of the most important and often missed steps is to go into a networking meeting with some intention. And the intention isn’t to go in to be like, I’m going to pass out as many business cards as I can or collect as many business cards as I can to add all these people to my newsletter because neither of those things is a productive use of your time.

Instead, one of the things that I teach as I call it the three, two, one of networking, and it’s going in with intention. And that means, that you take a few minutes in your car or wherever you are before you go into the meeting, and you think about, what am I going to get out of this? So for me, I always go in with this idea that I am here to connect and meet three new people.

So notice I’m not saying, I’m here to like, sell three new people like no, I’m going in to make real connections with three people in the room. That’s my three. My two is that I go in with the idea that I want to reconnect and deepen rapport with two people who I already know, and my one is that I’m going to invite at least one of those people to a scheduled conversation. 

So it could be that I’m scheduling a time for us to talk about working together. So maybe it’s a potential client. It could also be a time for us to, just get to know each other better. And so then, when I get out back to my car after the networking meeting is over, I go like, how did I do?

Did I hit my three? Did I get my two? Did I get my one? And if I’m going to meetings and I’m walking out, and I’m not getting my three, two ones consistently, I look at that and go, first of all, what did I not do right? Right? Like I’m going to look internally and go, did I make an effort? 

Because if I just went in and was like, Hey, let’s see what happens and I’m just going to grab a glass of wine and hang out in the corner and talk to somebody who I’ve known for ten years, that might not be the best use of my time. Like, if you want to grab a glass of wine with somebody who you’ve known for ten years, schedule that at a different time. 

Geraldine: [00:22:04] Go, grab a glass of wine. 

Nikki: [00:22:05] Yes. Like, make an appointment to see your friend. That’s totally okay. The other thing though is sometimes I go like, maybe this isn’t my ideal crowd, and so I’m not going to go back.

I always go at least twice to an event. I’ll go and check it out twice to see how is it, and when I’m there, I get really curious, like I’m going to ask people questions. You know how long you’ve been a member of the event, and have you found that there’s a business here for you in this realm?

Because if you’re going to events and people are like, how dare you ask about business? It’s probably not the right event for you for business building. And if you go there and they’re like, oh, I’ve been coming for five years, I’ve never gotten any business out of it. 

It might also not be the best event, because sometimes these events are, I call them ladies who lunch. And there’s nothing wrong with ladies who lunch events, and they’re not business-building activities. So I don’t count that as networking. 

Geraldine: [00:23:04] Yes. So I love what you said there, first of all, 3-2-1. So three, new connections, two, deepen and connections, and one, invitation. And really going in with some intentionality around, what do I want to do that I want to get something out of this meeting without being driven, you can still go in with intention. 

And rather than going in with a sort of, let’s see what happens kind of outlook. Which, I think many of us get caught in the trap of. We go in, let’s see what happens. We get a glass of wine and then kind of wander aimlessly. It’s like, being in a little boat without a rudder.

It’s like about, we just sort of getting bounced around at the whims of the current and we don’t really get to where we want to go. It should come as no surprise if we don’t have a direction. 

Nikki: [00:23:54] Yes. I mean, one of the things, actually, even before I started my business, I was helping to grow somebody else’s business, and that was the first time I really started attending networking events, and people were always really surprised.

The people that I was getting to know. They were always really surprised that I consistently booked clients. And from the very beginning of my business, I’ve consistently booked clients because I am going in with intention, and I don’t think anybody, I hope nobody that I’ve ever met would say, Nikki, is salesy.

I don’t think of myself that way. I don’t teach salesy tactics. And I think most people would say I had a really nice conversation with her, right? Like, that’s what I’m going for, but I’m also being strategic. I’m not spending a bunch of time talking to one person who has zero interest in my business. Like, I also know how to exit conversations gracefully. 

Geraldine: [00:24:48] Tell us.

Nikki: [00:24:51] So one of the things I’ll usually do is I’ll put my hand out to shake their hands, and I’ll say, it has been so nice to chat with you. I’ve really enjoyed our time, and I will look forward to seeing you at the next event, have a great rest of the event, and then I walk away. 

Geraldine: [00:25:07] So you are intentional when a conversation has gone on. I mean, let’s just say, far longer than it needs to, and you have an awareness that it’s time for you to meet somebody else. 

Nikki: [00:25:19] Yes. 

Geraldine: [00:25:20] And it’s not about being driven or being rude or like, I mean, there’s an energy of like working the room that I think some of us are like, woo. Right? We feel that, and we, our skin kind of crawls, and we don’t want to be one of the people that works the room.

And at the same time, what you’re talking about is, are tools for being intentional to help us move in and out of conversation gracefully. 

Nikki: [00:25:42] Yes. Because if you get sucked into a conversation with somebody who really wants to sit and talk about the weather or the sporting, the score of the game last night or again, all of those conversations are valid and useful and usually don’t lead to business. 

So, what can you do to either redirect the conversation or gracefully end the conversation, and not in a way that you’re like, oh, I don’t care about you as a person, so I’m just going to shove you aside and go like, who’s next?

Not in that way, but in a way that is like, Hey, I paid money to be at this event. I’m giving up something to be here, and I’m not working with clients right now. So, I need to be a little strategic in what I do, because like why go to networking events if you’re not going in some capacity to see if there is potential business in the room?

Sometimes business in the room for me is me actually hiring somebody. Right? Like that happens too. And I want to have those conversations with those people. And if I’m just stuck in the corner talking to one person the whole time, that’s not good for my business. And I really am about growing my business and putting my business first. It’s a priority for me.  

Geraldine: [00:26:58] And I’ll say from my own experience that now, having two kids, those evening hours from five to seven when networking events so often occur, are such valuable minutes for me. And if I’m going to leave my family time to go and network, it better be worth my while. 

Nikki: [00:27:17] Yes. 

Geraldine Carter: [00:27:17] Having a family in my case tends to changes the game on the required efficacity, if that’s a word, of the networking event. Right like now, it’s got to meet a higher bar. I no longer have. You know, before I had kids, I had time to squander. I don’t have that anymore. 

Nikki: [00:27:37] Yes, I don’t have kids. And I don’t even, honestly, I don’t know how parents do this because every time I have my nieces or nephew with me, I’m like, how do people work and have kids? I have no concept of it. And I get like, my minutes, my evening minutes are a time for me to be with my really important person in my life, and I value that time. 

And if I’m going to give it up to something, it needs to be meaningful and worthwhile. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t have time with girlfriends. I do, and I pick and choose those moments. They’re not my networking moments. 

Geraldine: [00:28:16] So, how do we take all of this, the networking events. The introductions, the referrals, and put it all together, right? Because even now that we’ve separated it into distinct pieces that we can sort of turn into step-by-step, it still seems like a lot.

So, what are some ways to take this and put it into step-by-step so that we can begin to implement it in our businesses? 

Nikki: [00:28:40] One is to schedule time to reach out to connections and ask for introductions. So, my suggestion initially is that you come up with a list of ten people to, again, people who know you, who love you, who value your work, and who would be willing and open. And, you would feel comfortable having a conversation with them about making a connection and be as specific as possible in your ask.

Do not say, do you know anyone? That’s a yes or no question. Who do you know that has an accounting practice and is focused on this particular, be as specific as you can, help them, help you. And so, come up with your list of 10. And then schedule some time during your week to have those reach out conversations.

So, even if you’re scheduling, like, really sometimes I tell my clients who are very busy as we all are. Put 15 minutes on your calendar to have at least one of these conversations a week. Because even that will make a difference to your bottom line. And then the testimonial or when somebody is raving about you with your existing clients and asking for the referral, the best time to do that is when they’re raving about you. Right?

So, have that in your back pocket and be ready. So when somebody is just pouring love all over you, which is what I call compliments. It’s like pouring love over you about what you’ve done for them or how you’ve helped them in some way. Be ready to acknowledge, accept, and then make that ask. 

And then, as far as the networking piece goes, this is something. Again, my suggestion is that you take five minutes before you go into a meeting, before you go into a networking event and focus on your 3-2-1, and then when you get out of the meeting, spend five minutes in your car before you turn your car on and drive away, and go, how did I do?

Did I hit my three? Yes. Did I hit my two? I got one. Did I get my other appointment? Yes. Okay. I did pretty good. Right? But if you go out and you’re doing this every time, you’re like, oh, I didn’t do any of them. I didn’t do any 3-2-1. That just means you really are not focused on what’s the intent of you being there. You do not have your outcome in mind. And therefore, like I said earlier, like if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. And I think you said the rudderless boat, which I love that analogy, right? You’re just like going all over the place inside, like why are you showing up then?

Geraldine: [00:31:16] Yes.

Nikki: [00:31:17] So, be willing. Be willing to 15 minutes on your calendar. Ready to ask when somebody pours love on you and intention around your networking. Five minutes before, five minutes after. 

Geraldine: [00:31:30] Awesome. I love it. This has been so helpful. I have no doubt that my listeners will get a lot of value out of this, so I appreciate your time today.

I know you have something that you want to share with our listeners. Can you tell us what that is? 

Nikki: [00:31:43] Yes. I always like to give a bonus when I go on a podcast and something that’s of real value for people. So I’d love to offer your listeners my ebook, which is all around closing the sale, and this is my gift to them.

There’s no charge for this, and they can download it on my website. If you visit, She Thinks Big. 

Geraldine: [00:32:08] Excellent.

Nikki: [00:32:12] That’s right. 

Geraldine: [00:32:13] And you also wrote a book. 

Nikki: [00:32:15] I did. 

Geraldine: [00:32:16] Why don’t you give us the name of the book and where we can find it. 

Nikki: [00:32:19] Thank you. My third book that was released in July of 2019 is called The Selling Staircase: Mastering the Art of Relationship Selling. It is available where books are sold, so Amazon for sure, I books, all those other places, and you can get it in the paperback, ebook version, and now there’s an audio version as well. 

Geraldine: [00:32:40] Excellent. Great, great, great. All kinds of great information in both of those. 

Nikki, it is always a pleasure to have you on the She Thinks Big Podcast. Thank you so much for coming. 

Nikki: [00:32:51] Thank you for having me. 

Geraldine: [00:32:54] Thank you, Nikki, as always, for coming on the She Thinks Big Podcast. I can’t wait to have you back on. And for my listeners, I’m giving you a tease, next time Nikki comes on we are talking about advanced selling skills and we already have a few of those outlined for you. So, keep an eye out for another episode from Nikki Rausch coming up in the next few months. 

One of my main takeaways from this episode is the importance of going into a networking event with intention. I tend to enjoy networking events. I love meeting new people, and I love talking to people, and I love listening to people. So, it can be really easy for me to just sort of wander and drift and talk to whoever sort of shows up in front of me and enjoy that conversation.

And if we get into it and we’re deep in, I just go with it. And sometimes I forget that I’m here to meet new people and to expand my network. And the idea of having intentionality of having 3-2-1 I can take with me into networking events to be like, okay, remember Geraldine, you’re here to meet three new people and deep into relationships and invite somebody to take the next step with you. It’s a really concrete way to make those meetings more fruitful. 

Some other key pieces that I think came out of this episode are thinking about who is your ideal client? The broader your picture of your ideal client, the harder it is for you to be intentional about leveraging your network. The narrower, the smaller your target of your ideal client, the easier it is for you to reach out into your network and ask for connections and ask for introductions and ask for referrals.

Learning how to leverage your network takes time, and leveraging your network is a long term play. A lot of these activities are seed planting activities, and like, Nikki said, they don’t sprout overnight And like, I said, they don’t flower in a week. These things take time, but if you don’t plant seeds, they’ll never sprout, and they’ll never turn into flowers.

One of my favorite quotes is “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. And the second-best time to plant a tree is today.” So the second-best time to learn how to start planting seeds and start leveraging your network is today. 

So, I want to hear from you listeners, what was your key takeaway from this episode? What was the most useful thing that you will take and start applying to your business this week? 

And I tell you every time; I would love to hear from you because, on this side of the mic, it is nothing but crickets and my meowing cats.

One way to stay connected is to join the She Thinks Big Facebook group. You can go to Facebook and search, She Thinks Big, and you’ll find us, and I’ll let you in. You can also find me on my website, and I will put links in the show notes to the ebook that Nikki mentioned, as well as to her book, The Selling Staircase, which I highly recommend you read.

Last thing, ladies, if you enjoy this episode, will you share it with somebody who will benefit from it? Because when you share an episode, everybody wins. You win because when you share something that’s a benefit to somebody else, you look good. your friend wins because they get something of value. And I win because I get more listeners.

So when you share an episode, we all win. If you’re listening on Apple podcasts, you go to the lower right corner, and you press the little three-dot ellipse, and the pop-up window comes up with the share icon. 

All right, ladies, that’s it for me for this week. I will see you next time.