Building a Network – Why It’s So Important and How to Do It
As a watch trader, your network truly is your net WORTH. You’ve probably heard that phrase at least once over the course of your life, and it applies 100% in the watch trading game.
Having a network of people who look at you as their go-to watch contact is how you’ll be able to beat your competition who has more time, money, and resources than you. They trust you and prefer buying from you. They don’t want to buy from anyone else, even if the prices are periodically lower.
So how do you build up this robust network of buyers & sellers from scratch? A lot of you currently think it is a difficult task, or that you don’t have enough people in your current network to make serious headway. But I beg to differ.
I can show you right now how you have a fantastic network that can help boost your watch trading profits. I can also show you how to constantly grow your network so you’re always adding to your customer base. Having a large network of buyers and sellers can be the difference between you having a bad month in watch sales and a great month. It can also make an average month of profits still enough to cover your expenses and be more than someone who is grinding to make a few thousand with a poorly managed network.
There are 5 main steps to building and managing a robust network. You can expand and iterate on these as you get to know your specific customers better. Once you learn to master these steps, your ability to move watches for a solid profit compounds exponentially.
First let’s start by defining a Network. A network is a group of system of interconnected people. In the watch trader world, you want to be the epicenter of that network. You want to be the go-to watch plug of your own people. So what types of people make up your network?
- Family & Friends
- Private Sellers
- Private Buyers
- Watch Dealers
- Watch Fans
There are more types of people in your network, but these 5 categories are the main ones to focus on fostering.
In human relationships, there is a rule of 50. I want you to remember this rule. That rule states that even if you know more than 50 people, you can only truly care about 50 in a capacity that is meaningful. That being said, it doesn’t mean that you limit your network to those 50 people. It means you focus on utilizing that core group as best possible to compound your reach to THEIR 50 core people. If you know at least 50 people, and those 50 people know 50 other people, that’s 2,500 people that are in your current network TODAY without you having to even do any work. The important part about that core group of 50 people is that they already TRUST you! Trust is the most important obstacle to overcome for most people looking to buy an expensive timepiece. If your buyers and sellers trust you, they will have no issue wiring you money. They will no longer get picky about details about the watches you have and your process, and they will even buy with you in as little as you sending one picture and a text at times. Imagine how amazing that would be!?
So let’s look at the steps of building a network:
- Let People Know You’re the Watch Plug – Let anyone and everyone know you’re a watch consultant! You can label yourself however you please (e.g. watch trader, watch enthusiast, watch concierge). Whatever you do, make sure you let people know what you do in the watch world. I like watch consultant, because it allows you to project yourself as an expert and enthusiast, without having to seem like a watch dealer who carries a lot of inventory. It also allows you to share what you do without worrying about conflicting interest with your day job if you have one. One of the biggest mistakes I see folks make is not letting everyone they know that they are involved in the watch industry now. You are doing yourself a disservice by not communicating this to anyone who will listen. How can you expect others to refer you to their potential watch buyers/sellers if they don’t know that you can help them? In order to have people think of coming to you in the future is to let them know you’re the watch go-to.
- Money Talks: Buy & Sell – You NEED to buy watches from people to get them to send you deals in the future and make introductions/referrals for you. You NEED to sell watches to new buyers (not just within Watch Trading Academy) to build your rapport and trust in the market. This seems like a very easy and obvious step, and it is one of the most powerful. However, plenty of folks I see don’t fully understand how vital this step is. “Money Talks, Bullshit Walks”. I can get deals that other people can’t from sellers, because they know I can pay them via cash or bank wire today, that I’m good for the money, and that I will probably buy from them again in the future. The trust layer is there, and so they are more willing to let go of watches to me at a discount than anyone who is a first time buyer. People also don’t like buyers who don’t have funds ready to go and need high maintenance payment plans. The same thing goes on the flip-side with selling to new buyers. Buyers want to purchase from someone they perceive is trustworthy, who doesn’t play around, and can potentially do business with them in the future. In order to grow your network, you have to not only sell to these new buyers, you need to continue to foster those as long term relationships, not just one-off transactions.
- Consistent Contact – C.R.M. – When you stay in the forefront of people’s minds, they will remember that you are the watch plug. Even if they are not ready to buy or sell immediately, they can refer you to someone else who is. Oftentimes, we expect people to just be thinking of us, what we are doing, and what we have in inventory because we are thinking about it all the time. When you have this mentality, you forget that humans are bombarded with millions of data points everyday, and it’s difficult to even remember what we had for lunch the previous day at times. So how can you expect a potential buyer/seller to think of you when you’re not constantly reminding them you are a watch consultant, and that you have specific pieces available? It seems silly because it is.There are plenty of ways to stay on the top of people’s minds without being annoying or a stalker. Examples: a monthly email sharing your current inventory & deals. Logging leads and customers in your C.R.M. (Cal’s Relationship Management) system so you’ll know who likes what watches, and when it makes sense to stay in touch with them. Text them when you’re in the area and treat them to food/drink. I’ve closed many deals just by visiting with leads and customers periodically.
- Create Value – Become the go-to contact for all things valuable in your network by GIVING BEFORE YOU RECEIVE! This is a simple concept, and it works wonders! By connecting people to their needs, wants, and business goals, you naturally become someone of value who they will think of in the future. As it’s noted in psychology, when you do something for someone, they immediately want to return the favor to reciprocate. Use your CRM to make connections with others, and they’ll do the same for you. Create content that helps others. That’s how I got so involved in Watch Trading Academy – creating content. That’s how you become the leader in the space and dominate your own network. Whatever platform or kind of content you prefer, just add value somehow so that people come to you when they have questions first.
- Constantly Grow Your Network – Don’t ever stop growing your potential customer base! If you meet people out and about, online, and/or on the forums, and they are serious watch enthusiasts, then you should be taking down their info for the future even if they haven’t bought from you yet. Even as little as a name and email can help. Tell them you’ll keep them in the loop for future deals if they want to stay updated. Once you add these serious leads in with your customers you’re on your way to having a fantastic resource to tap into when you need to buy/sell watches. There are thousands of ways to continuously grow your network. Get creative and remember to always update your CRM with new contacts, so you can really exponentially expand your reach.