How to Network to Get New Clients


Summertime is the perfect time to leave the office behind, head out to a patio, and meet some new people.

If you do this right, you will meet some great new prospects who become your lifelong clients.

And if you do this wrong, you could end up attending event, after event, after event feeling totally demoralized and wondering how on earth people actually get clients from networking.

This past weekend I was at a Real Estate investing seminar, and when I went out networking I got 7 highly motivated people giving me their emails within 10 minutes. (Yes, It’s that easy when you know what you’re doing!)

To help get you started on the right path, here are some networking tips.

Networking Golden Rules:

1. Go to listen, learn and connect

Find out what your new contacts interests are, why they came to the event, and what they do. They will not only ask you the same things, but by showing such an active interest in them first, they’ll feel more connected to you before you even start talking.

2. Go to meet interesting people and new friends
Adam Brind, Broker of Record at Core Assets Realty built his business from networking. According to Adam “If you go to find friends, you’ll get clients. If you go to get clients, you won’t get anything”. People do not want to be sold to, and they go to networking events to connect with new people. Show up, act interested, and think how you can help your new contact out, before you ever ask for anything. You’ll be miles ahead!

3. Open conversations with a compliment
One of my favourite icebreakers is a compliment such as “I’ve been loving your articles in the newspaper recently” or “I love that shirt you’re wearing, I had to come over and compliment you”. It makes the other person feel great, warms them up to you, and starts your conversation on a really positive note.

4. Get people asking you about your business, instead of you pushing it on them
Tempt prospects with information teasers that gets them asking you about your business, and allow yourself to shine! There’s such a different power dynamic in networking when people are actively interested in what you do, and want to hear more about it vs. you just telling them what you do, without them being interested.

Networking Don’ts

1. Don’t Bring a friend

When you bring a friend you’ll be less inclined to go up to new people and introduce yourself. I see it all the time at networking events…usually people that come with a “buddy” chat amongst themselves, which not only makes it extra intimidating for strangers to approach you, it also means you’re not stepping out and introducing yourself to new people.

2. Don’t stand alone in the back & wait for people to come to you

I’ve been to many, many events and there’s always a group of people that stand at the back, and wait for people to come to them. Usually nobody does, in which case you’ve gone to the networking event, and really aren’t networking. That’s ok if you wanted to hear the presentation, but if you actually wanted to meet people, you’ll need to introduce yourself.

3. Don’t come unprepared
Dress to impress, bring a positive attitude, and bring business cards

4. Don’t go for the sale
Nobody wants to go to a networking event feeling like everybody “wants” something from them. So make sure you’re not focusing on “selling” while you’re there. Instead focus on making a lasting connection. If you have any goals in mind, it should be to connect with your target market, and meet people who ask (or give permission) to be added to your prospecting database.

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To your success,


Ingrid Menninga is the founder of JOLT Marketing where her big mission is to put the heart back into the Real Estate and Mortgage industry while helping Agents & Brokers make awesome profits.

Within 3 years of founding JOLT Marketing, Ingrid has carved out a spectacular success roster working with Canada’s leading Real Estate and Mortgage brands with clients from RE/MAX, Royal LePage, Dominion Lending Centres, Verico, Street Capital, and more.

Ingrid is frequently featured in industry journals such as REM: Canada’s Real Estate Magazine, CAAMP’s Mortgage Journal, at speaking engagements for RE-Bar Camps, InMan’s Agent ReBoot, CMP’s The Mortgage Summit and in Sales Seminars for leading industry organizations such as IMBA(Independent Mortgage Brokers Association of Ontario).


Networking can be fantastic for your business – and if you play your cards right it can be one of your best lead generators! Here are a  few tricks to make sure it really works for you.

1.       Make sure you’re going to events that will attract your target market.

If you’re going to be “working” an event in the hopes of getting business, you want to make sure the people you want business from will actually be there.  If you’re going to an event to meet new clients, it’s a good idea to go to  events that your existing clients are going to – chances are high lots of interesting prospects will be there. If you’re going to an event to find referral sources, go where there will be lots to choose from – – for example for a Realtor looking to build a referral relationship  with Mortgage Brokers the Mortgage Summit could be a good option.

2.       Look the part.

If you’re networking to try and get business, make sure you look like someone who is ready for business. It’s a  good rule of thumb to dress one notch above the standard for your event.  Not only will this make you look professional, but you’ll also stand out in the crowd!

3.       Have “hooks” that inspire interesting  conversations.

When you go to an event to find new clients and someone asks you what you do, don’t just give the “I’m a REALTOR” or “I’m a Mortgage Broker” answer. It’s not that exciting, and for many it’s a conversation killer since they think you’re going to try and sell to them for
the next 30 minutes. Instead, answer with benefits and outcomes that your target market experiences. For example, Brian, a Real Estate Agent in the 5 Steps to More Leads and Big M.O.N.E.Y program worked in specific areas in London, Ontario, where families moved for the great schools. In the 5 Steps program we worked with Brian to come up with the “hook” that he “helped place families in neighbourhoods where their children had access to the best academic and sports programs”. It’s a conversation starter, and always gets people asking “how do you do that?” or “how does that work”. Using this approach we found that instead of conversations lasting 30 seconds , they last about 5 minutes
and you will have much more success booking meetings with prospects.

4.       The follow up is critical.

So you went to an event, you met some people and now you are waiting for your phone to ring, right? Chances are good that’s not going to happen. Your follow up to a networking event is really important, maybe even as important as going to the event. Make sure post-event you send a short email saying “nice to meet you”, or you can send a hand written thank you note (this will work better). If you have an e-newsletter you want everyone you meet to be on the list – so make sure you mention that you will add them, and if they prefer not to be included just to let you know. This is a trick we teach in the  5 Steps
that gets email opt-in, and very few, if anyone will ever opt –out of  your list. That’s a fast way to build a prospecting list!

5.       Nurture your relationships.

Make sure you reach out to your contacts on a semi regular basis with interesting, informative and sometimes just plain fun messages! Email is a great way to communicate; it’s inexpensive and quite easy to do, but keep in mind that everyone gets loads and loads of emails, so a phone call, or piece of snail mail is a great addition to your marketing mix
and the combination of the 3 contact points gets you much better results.  Social media is also a fantastic way to stay connected with contacts, so add them as facebook friends and follow them on twitter!

P.S.  Take a tip from the P.R. pros. When you meet a new contact make sure you
ask them some personal questions and write the few points that stand out on their business card. When you contact them later, you can ask about their stand out points, such as “How is your son Zac doing in soccer?” This will make your propsect feel more connected to you –> which makes them like you more –> which makes them more likely to do business with you!