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Effective Networking For Mobile Notaries: Quality Over Quantity

ConversationUpdated 6-19-19. The quality of your Notary business relationships is more important than how many you have. The people you have good relationships with are the people who are most likely to refer you to others.

Effective networking is not about the quantity of contacts, but rather the quality of the relationship you have with each contact. Instead of filling up your address list with countless contacts who either don’t send much work your way or never want to pay your established fee, I’ve discovered that it’s much more effective — and profitable — to focus on the people and companies that respect and value your work. These also are the people who tend to pay your Notary quote and refer you to others.

Building this type of network takes time, energy and courage. After all, most mobile Notaries have beaten the bushes for more clients at some point in their careers, and weeding any contact from your list seems counter-productive. But building strong relationships with the right people can bring better results to your bottom line. Here are the networking strategies I used to build my business.

Identify Who You Want In Your Network

The qualities you value in an ideal client or contact might differ from another Notary Signing Agent, but it helps to have a clear idea of what you want. I look for people who share my values, They expect my best and give me the room to give it. In addition, they have a potential for repeat, higher profit assignments, and they know who I am and what I stand for. Most importantly, I will have an opportunity to be of service to them. 

I developed and applied these criteria several years ago when I was getting loan-signing assignments from more than 40 companies. I was very busy, but I spent a lot of my time chasing down documents before a signing and payments afterward, or explaining why I deserve higher fees. So I started cutting out the unprofitable clients and reduced my list to about 20 companies. I got fewer loan-signing assignments, but all at or above my asking price, and had more time to take on general assignments. It took several years for my business to evolve, but now it has a healthy foundation with many kinds of assignments, many of them more profitable than the loan signing assignments.

Before you pursue a connection, consider why you want to network with this person. Can they give you work or connect you with those who can? Can they add to your knowledge? And remember, good contacts don’t just come from the mortgage industry. An attorney you jog with could start using your services. Or that bank employee who’s on a PTA committee with you could start referring you to customers. Also, remember contacts are not one-sided. Think about what you can do to help them.

Maintain A Professional Image

Just as you’re evaluating others, they are evaluating you. So you need to have a clear idea of what you have to offer. That starts with a strong personal brand that shows you’re a Notary professional who adds value to the equation. We do business with people who act and look professional, and that should be the key element of your brand. Your task is to build an image that says you’re a professional. Social media is a great tool for connecting with your circle of contacts and clients, but if your posts are sloppy and full of errors, or focus more on your vacation than your professional accomplishments, that’s how clients will see you.

Be Patient

It takes time to build the kind of trust and credibility with a new contact that will lead to a profitable, long-term business relationship or introductions to other clients. You need to look for opportunities to build enough trust to get to the conversation that books the kind of business you want. Reciprocity is not a myth. People for whom you have done a favor, or gone beyond what was necessary will remember and feel a need to reciprocate.

Each person will have a different time frame. Some may be willing to do business with you based on first impressions of your professional brand. Others may take years. Remember, while you’re looking for the right type of client, they’re looking for the right type of vendor. That means showing new contacts that you can solve their problems and meet their needs — in other words, understanding why people buy what you sell. Do you remember the names of the schedulers who call you? Do you send thank you cards?

Regular, friendly contact can remind people about your skills and professional qualifications. When you reach out, consider leading with something to offer. For instance, “I read an article and thought of you.” Or, “I heard about a great seminar and thought you may be interested in joining me.” One for fellow Notaries might be, "I'm going on vacation, and need a person I trust to handle my clients while I'm away."

Follow A Plan

Start by documenting those you already know: family, friends, neighbors and business contacts. Then create a second list of those you just met or want to meet. It also could include the kind of connections you want to make. For those you already know, engage them on a regular basis, not just when they call you for an assignment or you need something from them. Family and friends might not seem like great contacts, but mine proved valuable by referring me to their friends and professional acquaintances.

For the people you want to meet, there are a number of ways you might find them. Your first step is to reach out to let them know you appreciate whatever it is that got your attention. Give them a chance to buy into your personal brand. Then let them know what you might bring to the connection.

Again, patience is key and some connections may take months or years to develop. But be proactive. Nurture the connection until an opportunity comes up. Ultimately, networking is about building connections that benefit both parties. It also is an ongoing activity, so don’t shy away from finding new connections.

Laura Biewer owns At Your Service Mobile Notary in Modesto, California. She also teaches seminars for the National Notary Association and is a regular presenter at the NNA’s annual Conferences.

5 Comments

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harmony95336@gmail.com

10 Jun 2016

Great article!

laura

20 Jul 2016

Thanks, I hope there was information/ideas that will help you start/grow your notary business At your service, Laura

Patrick McFadden

06 Aug 2016

This article is right on point! When I speak to small business owners about creating a referral system one key component of that is to target your sources (networking). Don’t waste time marketing to businesses and people who will never refer. Save time and energy by creating a target list of related businesses (strategic partners that serve the same target market) who can be motivated to refer.

Judy Carney

19 Mar 2018

Great article!

Donna McGee Christie

30 Jun 2019

Thanks for the great tips Laura!

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