Monday, December 20, 2010

Do The People In Your Network Know They Can Count On You?

If you have ever heard me speak at a corporate event, or have read one of my books, you know that I believe in the power of business relationships.

I preach that all opportunities come from people, and encourage people to get involved in their community, network, build connections and help others achieve their goals. If they do this correctly and consistently they will reap the rewards and have more referrals.

I know first hand, as I have been blessed by the good nature of hundreds of people who have assisted me throughout my career. Some have said I am lucky to have had mentors, referral sources, friends and others who have delivered me to success. But it was not luck, it was the establishment of long-term and mutually-beneficial relationships..... and based on a true love of people and a desire for meaning in the connections.

Yet it is interesting. The people I have helped are not usually the same people who have helped me along the way. And those who have helped me are not necessarily people to whom I have returned the favor (and they don't mind). One would think that is not fair, but those who understand how a network operates will tell you that "givers give", and it is not about keeping score.

The universe keeps score, and givers can smell a "taker" from a mile away. But real givers know that it is a circle of giving that will come back to them. Remember the movie Pay It Forward?

I am happy to share some advice or make an introduction (when appropriate). I do not expect that same person to run out and make a business referral for me. The people who view "networking" as direct "give and take" will find myself disenchanted with the process for two reasons:

1. Not everyone who you will serve has the right connections to serve you. While I might be able to refer a friend to a real estate agent, that agent may not know anyone who hires keynote speakers, sales trainers, or consultants.

Does that mean I should keep quiet and not make the referral? Or that they should invest months trying to encounter meeting planners? NO. I should make the referral from a place of giving. And nobody should expect the people in their network to be their sales team.

2. Most people just do not have "Follow Through DNA". I witness people all the time who promise to make an introduction (or some other type of positive impact favor). Yet when they get back to their office they get busy. They forget the promise they made to the other person and go on with their life.

These are not bad people. They are not "liars". They really want to help. They mean to do good for others. In fact, in their own mind, they think they did help. They correlate wanting to do good for another person with actually taking action.

Only about 10% of the people I encounter who say they will do something in a networking context really take the next steps.

Many who you meet in your life will not have the ability to help, and most of those who can ---won't. However, this is no excuse to ignore the concept of networking. It only takes a small number of amazing people in your life to propel you to higher levels.

Start by looking at yourself. Do you have "Follow Through DNA"? Those who have it want to associate with other people who have it. It is easier to get things done when you are surrounded by "doers".

Does your network know they can count on you?

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

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