Associates always ask me, how have you never “cold called” in your business? For Insurance Brokers, cold calling or “prospecting” as it is known by now, is a staple. It’s just not one that I have ever been able to do. It’s also one that I have not needed. I learned early in my career that networking is a form of live cold calling, if you do it right. I prefer to attend valuable conferences, seminars, webinars and, more recently, virtual visits.
In the past three decades, I have met countless people at these events that have become colleagues, clients and more importantly, friends. I have been blessed to mix all of these people in several of the categories all at once. I don’t believe that would have happened, had it not been for networking.
However, not just networking alone has helped me succeed. Sponsorship was the next evolution for me in my business journey. By attending the events, I was able to see, first hand, the time and effort that was put in to support and sponsor them. The sponsors were prepared, engaging, informative and really complimented the industry that the event targeted. There is nothing worse than attending an event that has no “walk away” value to you. Whether it be the speakers or the sponsors or exhibiters, they have to be valuable to you. They have to fit in your wheelhouse and become part of your toolbox at some point. Otherwise, in my opinion, you will have lost an opportunity to build up your career.
A word of caution, though. Pick and choose what you attend and why. I have found that some can be repetitive, or outdated and then you have squandered your most expensive asset, your time. For me, it is typically three to four a year. I will have standard association events that I will attend annually and then rotate one or two, depending on content.
At Staebler, we are proud to sponsor the NRRS this upcoming April. I would suggest this become one of your go to “annuals”, hope to see you there.