About Jerry Allocca

If you’ve gone to any networking events in Manhattan or on Long Island, you’ve probably heard Jerry Allocca’s name mentioned.  For the past 12 years, he has built his business based on the power of networking and referrals. One of his clients actually nicknamed him “Rocky” because he’s constantly fighting to get his clients the best results for their hard-earned dollars.

Jerry’s goal is to make sure his clients become a household name, (just like Rocky) by making sure they are the champion on Google.  He’s about to launch a new SEO initiative that will allow small and mid-sized businesses to get the same results that Jerry’s Fortune 500 clients have been getting for years.

You can learn more about Jerry at: www.JerryAllocca.com and connect with him on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/JerryAllocca

How did you get the nickname “Rocky”?

It’s funny, one day I was on the phone with a client who was struggling because she didn’t have enough traffic going to her website, and she noticed that I got really passionate about a point I was making. She could hear me pounding my desk and I didn’t even notice I was doing this! She said, “Jerry, you’re kind of like the Rocky of the Internet because you are always fighting for people like me!” I’m also a fan of the movie Rocky because it’s a story of a guy who overcomes a lot of obstacles and I think a lot of business owners can relate to that these days.

How are you using face to face networking to grow your business?

I was just telling someone the other day that I’ve never made a cold call in the past 12 years. All of my business has come to me through referrals from clients and other business professionals. Yes, I’m lucky, but I also work really hard to make sure my clients are happy. I take time to listen and give them what they want. I go to a lot of networking events on Long Island and in Manhattan and I focus on meeting one or two interesting people that I really click with. I then make it a point to introduce them to people in my network that I think they would like.

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It sounds like a cliché, but I’m one of those people who just likes to meet new people all of the time. My friends tell me that I can’t be a tech guy, because I’m too friendly and outgoing. I’ve built my business over the years by helping people understand complex technology in simple terms. I try to be patient and really explain concepts to people in a way they can understand. My business has taught me the importance of really listening to people. That’s the key to connecting with someone. You really need to hear what they are saying and understand where they are coming.

What’s your best advice for someone just getting started with face to face networking?

I always tell my clients to “know before you go.” In other words, know what your goals are before you attend any networking events. Are you just looking to close deals or are you genuinely interested in getting to know the other people in the room? Are you willing to give first, or are you only looking to get?

Take the time to create a clear elevator pitch. I can’t tell you how many times I meet someone, talk to them for 10 to 15 minutes and honestly have no idea what they do for a living. You need to be able to tell people what makes you different and better than the competition otherwise, you’ve missed a big opportunity. If you can’t do this for yourself, invest in hiring someone who can help you.

You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in and helping other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you. Besides dressing professionally and having business cards, the most important thing someone can bring to a networking event is genuine interest in others. Learn to engage others. Know what is going on in the news so that you can talk about it. Steer clear of controversial topics like politics and religion that can get heated. Look for topics that a wide variety of people would be interested in. If you are inclusive, people will naturally be drawn to you. Ask other attendees who they think you should meet at the event. Don’t be afraid to walk up to someone and introduce yourself. If this case, it’s okay to talk to strangers! Above all else, be authentic, open to meeting new people and willing to listen.

What networking groups are you a member of?

I’ve actually been a member of quite a few networking groups over the years! I find that for me personally, the industry specific networking groups work best.  When you join one of these groups, you automatically have something in common with the other members. I also used to go to a bunch of different networking events all over the tri-state area and that gets exhausting. Now, I like to focus my attention on a few key groups and make sure I attend as many events as possible. That way, I get to really know the other members and they in turn, get to know me.

What’s the best thing about leading a networking group?

When you lead a group, you are taking responsibility for the quality of the people that you invite to the group.  You are saying, “Hey, this is my group and I’m going to make sure that you meet other great people.” It’s a big responsibility, however, people do see you as a leader if you do this well and that’s a good thing. Also, you get the opportunity to make (or break!) the rules as you see fit. Many of us have been members of groups and we didn’t like the way the group was run for one reason or another. So, we started our own groups!

As the leader of the group, you should try to make as many introductions as possible. You want to connect the people in your group to each other and you also want them to invite new quality people to the group.

Over the years, I’ve gotten really good at writing excellent “cyber intros” for people.

Can you explain what you mean by a “Cyber Intro”?

A cyber intro is simply connecting two people using online tools. It could be email, twitter or a message sent via Facebook. It’s pretty simple. You write an energetic introduction about Person A and you let them know exactly why you want to connect them to Person B. And of course you mention how fantastic Person B is too. Don’t forget to include all of the contact information for both Person A and Person B.  I like to take it a step further and say, “I know you are both busy, however, I think you’d both get a lot of value from having a quick 10 minute ‘getting to know you’ conversation.  Now, you are connecting two great people. This is such a simple concept, yet the results are profound.

Are there any similarities between online and offline networking? What are they?

There are more similarities than you might think. Online networking at it’s core, is still about people connecting. It is you sitting at your computer, and others sitting at their computers, and you all want to talk. Some people find this mode of connecting cold and impersonal. I find that if you are authentic and energetic, people will see that you a warm, caring person. If you send out a generic email to 10,000 people, obviously people will think you are a lazy Spammer. It’s the same thing in the real world. When you are at a live, face to face networking event, you can easily spot the people who are there just to make a quick sale and those who are genuinely interesting in building long term relationships.

Do you find that most people are more comfortable with online (or offline) networking? Why do you think that is?

Today’s younger generation, I called them “The Connected Culture” grew up surrounded by technology. They don’t have the fear that some of us once had.  They are very comfortable connecting online, however, they sometimes lack the social skills required to connect effectively in the real world. Compare that to many people who are over the age of say 30 or 40, who had to learn how to connect in the real world in order to land a date, a job or a variety of other opportunities. They might be better at connecting face to face and a little weary of connecting online. Bottom line, each generation can learn a lot from the other one!

Do you think people are getting burned out from all this online and offline networking? Are people really getting value from it? How do you know?

I think some people are getting a bit overwhelmed by all of the online and offline networking out there. You also need to know when to disconnect and spend some quality alone-time reading a good book or watching an old film. Networking, like anything else, is best done in moderation. You also need to know what works for you. You might like to go to 4 face to face networking events per week and think that’s fun and exhilarating. Your friend might think you are a little bit nuts.

It’s a good idea to go and test things out and see what works best for you. Here is a quick video from Jerry

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2 Comments on Interview with Jerry Allocca, Speaker, Author and President of CORE Interactive

  1. Jerry! Great presentation! I found you on Twitter and decided to check out your site. You have some solid content here. You’re doing good work in the world. Keep it up! Matt

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Deepak Gupta, Jerry Allocca. Jerry Allocca said: Checkout this interview of me on a very popular marketing blog http://htxt.it/Lhwm […]

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