Article by: By Sam Kaddah, Liquid Logics
If you do not read anything else in this article, please read this: your level of success can be directly measured by your level of networking, listening, and sharing.
Based on my experience, networking and personal relationships have been critical for my success. In our niche private lending industry that is comprised of few thousand individuals and certainly under 100 market leaders, I have found that networking and personal relationships are paramount for establishing Liquid Logics as the clear market leader.
Personally, since 2014, I have attended every key industry trade show and have had the pleasure to meet so many different people. I believe that no matter what industry that you reside in, networking can be all the difference between being recognized as the industry leader or being just another unknown who has a hard time. Having the ability to network has brought me personal and industry friends, business partners, and, most importantly, customers. Within my field of work, there is a small niche market that investors love to be in without a lot of horizontal scope in the field. But the vertical scope is a very high mountain to climb.
The Importance of Networking in Private Lending
Networking is incredibly important because you never know what doors might open. I read somewhere back in the early 2000’s before the internet had such a grasp on our society that over 75% of jobs and 90% of business opportunities/partnerships are not advertised. Times may be different today; however, it is certainly still true that key leadership and key industry positions are still not advertised. More importantly, 90% of key partnerships, key leadership positions, and business-to-business opportunities still come from networking. The important jobs that you want are not going to be advertised or found through a Google search. What will open the door to different jobs and work clients is your connection to them. Thus, another reason to network.
As the leader of my company, if I am not constantly networking, the company would not be nearly as successful as it has become. Networking for me is getting to know clients’ tendencies and have an in-depth understanding of their needs, meeting partners and discovering ways to improve and propel the industry forward, creating new offerings, and opening the doors for ideas that were uncommon and bring them to mainstream use.
My Two Approaches to Networking
I like to do this mostly through two approaches:
- Sharing knowledge, making introductions, and providing industry insights to the ones in need
- Informal meetings that involve talking to new people, having coffee, dinner, going to a prospective clients’ offices, hosting in my offices, or golfing, etc.
The second approach allows me to deepen conversations and gain greater appreciation of the other’s point of view. I never know where my conversation might take me, but what I do know is that the old saying, “it’s a lot better to have loved and lost to have never loved at all” could not be truer. Too often with society today, people only tell you all the fluff and good that has come throughout their life. They want to portray their life as the perfect Instagram image. To be quite honest, it’s not. Business, just like life, is hard and it is full of its ups and downs. Not every single person you meet is going to be a kind person who is great at conversation and can land you the 6-figure salary or the key client you were hoping for. It would be very nice if life were that easy, but if it were that easy, everyone would do it.
The truth is that networking is a skill. It is like life in the sense that you must be resilient and keep going. Give a lot. Share what you have and show your genuine interest, attend conferences, speak, and share knowledge. Networking is the most important tool an individual can have. Listening to the people you meet and being yourself will drive your success.
Lastly, I will leave you with this: what networking means and how it looks is different for every person. But all networking success shares a couple of the same traits:
- Attending events
- Giving value
Attend Conferences for Measurable Success
Everyone will have their own strategies and idiosyncrasies that work for them. What I can say from my experience is that attending trade shows and conferences to network can easily provide you with a direct way to measure networking success by the people met at an event.