20 Mar From Naked Without a Network to CEO of Legacy Forum
Our CEO and co-founder Davis Blaine wasn’t always a shining example of networking in action.
Nearly 30 years ago after he successfully built and sold a valuation firm in Chicago, Davis moved to Los Angeles in 1987 and started a valuation business. At the time, he had only six potential contacts to help him with his new venture. And while he had nearly 20 years of experience in the industry, he had virtually no local connections.
Davis has lived through the experience of having no network. He knows firsthand the importance of developing one well before you need it.
Why is Networking Important?
When Davis first set up his business in Los Angeles, professional networking organizations hadn’t yet become a part of business. There were still networking groups, such as alumni groups, country clubs, religious institutions, and non-profit organizations, but networking wasn’t something that drove business leads – that was the job of cold calls.
Ultimately, networking is important in business because it’s not cold calling or sales. It’s relationship-building. Relationships are all about creating good karma, giving as much as you take, earning trust, and building mentorship. These things help your business grow, but also help you grow in your business skills.
What is Good Networking?
In Davis’s second published novel, “Naked Without a Network”, he outlines the six most important steps in making a solid business connection:
- Learn more about the other person – his/her family, passions, philosophy, etc.
- Ask first about his or her practice and specialty
- Find out about your subject’s client focus, such as industry, size, type of matter, etc.
- Briefly and clearly explain your main service offerings. Interject specific client examples and stories to illustrate how your services dovetail
- Allow the other person to ask questions about your services
- Ask how you can help, such as suggesting contacts that might be good direct links for business
Asking probing questions with the other person as the focus is key to good networking. It set you apart as a contact who can be useful, trustworthy, and authentic. These questions have no personal gain—the goal is to establish an authentic relationship that can be mutually beneficial.
Today, Davis has founded numerous highly successful organizations and is currently the chairman of The Mentor Group, Mentor Securities, and Legacy Forum.
When Davis created ProVisors, formally know as Professionals Network Group (PNG), he did so in the spirit of networking to help other businesses ahead of his own agenda. He sold ProVisors and is now CEO and founder of one of the country’s premier mastermind organizations for professional service providers. This group, Legacy Forum, is led by highly experienced professions that are leaders in their own fields.
At Legacy Forum, we maintain a community of professional service providers that foster deep and mutually beneficial relationships with one another. Our elite organization brings together Southern California’s top service professionals to focus on business, personal, and professional development through shared experience, knowledge and purpose.