Monday, September 04, 2006

What Goes Around Comes Around

Bruce Allen had a post on his Marketing Catalyst Blog recently that talked about not keeping score when networking. I could not have said it better myself, so I will just post his words:

Never Keep Score in Your Referral Network

Last week I had the pleasure of introducing two (business) people to each other. They hit it off immediately and it looks like they will be able to push a lot of business and opportunities back and forth. Talking with one them later she commented, "I definitely owe you now." I said that I've never kept score and never would. What goes around comes around.

I've worked with people that are definitely keeping score. They purposely withhold referrals until they get something in return and know the numbers in their “referral ledger” at all times. Ooof! What a terrible way to make and keep business friends.

Try not think of passing along opportunities as a down payment or special favor. Think of it instead as an investment. Over time investments will either produce a return, or in some cases none at all. I have on a couple of occasions stopped sharing; no need to keep watering the dirt if grass just refuses to grow. But most of the time I’ve been rewarded with wonderfully productive friendships, great referrals, and solid business opportunity.

So my advice: Don’t keep score. Just keep good friends. The good things you give out will come back tenfold.

***I would like to add that while you don't "keep score", do be sure that those in your network are not taking advantage of you. Avoid people who are "users".

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

1 comment:

Bradford P. Harwick said...


Good reference post from Bruce on Keeping Score. Can you address in a future post your thoughts on the difference between not keeping score and seeing relationships as investments? Both of these approaches to how one views their relationships seem to be done with an expectation of return. Bruce says that he does not keep score and never would. Yet he accepts that what goes around comes around. If you are viewing relationships as an investment in the future, aren't you, in effect, keeping score? Bruce mentions not watering the dirt if grass refuses to grow. This seems to be an action as a result of keeping score. Looking forward to your insight.

Brad Harwick