Networking is valuable to loan officers for many reasons. It can help them expand their brand, meet new prospects, discover professional opportunities, and find inspiration. When we put in the work, our networks can be valuable resources to support a thriving business. Whether you rarely think about networking or you’d like to give your skills a boost, there are some key strategies loan officers can employ to bring their networking up a notch. Let’s take a look:
Focusing on value can change many professionals’ perspectives when it comes to networking. And that perspective change can have powerful results. Often, we think about how we can benefit from our network. We go into interactions focused on ourselves, ready to talk about what we do and see if this might be a beneficial connection for us. When you switch to a perspective of bringing value to your interactions, the way you network may change a bit. The way you communicate, the questions you ask, and the things you share are usually altered when you’re focused on bringing value to the other person. This isn’t to say you should forget your own needs, but approaching networking with this mindset of bringing value can help you make stronger, more fruitful connections.
Many professionals put the focus of their networking on meeting new people and expanding their web of contacts. This is important, but it’s really only a fraction of what makes up great networking. If we want our connections to be useful to us, we need to invest in them. We need to move beyond a simple online connection or one-time interaction. Putting in regular work to develop, build, and maintain your connections should be a central element of your networking strategy.
As Maya Angelou observed, people will remember you for the way you made them feel, not for the things you said or did. So, rather than delivering a monologue about your business, focus on making the person you’re speaking with feel valued. Show your interest in them by asking good questions, make them feel like a priority by investing your time in the conversation. When you build others up, you elevate the entire interaction. While someone might forget the specific info you mentioned about your business, they’ll remember that you made them feel heard and appreciated.
Loan officers have plenty of opportunities to grow their networks. While it’s easy to get comfortable with the same strategy, variety here is great. Continue to look for new opportunities to expand to new groups of people and new ways to connect. Engaging on and offline is important as well. Meeting in person helps to foster a stronger connection and build trust, while staying in touch online is a great way to maintain the relationship.
When it comes to growing your brand and increasing your opportunities, networking is key. Simply getting to a networking event doesn’t necessarily guarantee results though. Loan officers need to be strategic to truly maximize their networking potential. Do you have any other networking strategies you’d recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts.