I often receive a question with regards to Networking; especially within the context of either formal or informal business/social events. And, it’s a very reasonable question. It usually goes something like, “should you focus on meeting a whole lot of people or just a few people with whom you can make a deeper connection?”
This inspired me to post the following on my Facebook page:
“High-quality relationships lead to high-quality referrals. So, focus on
quality over quantity and receive an even greater quantity of quality.”
In essence, I believe the question is, “Should I go for quality or quantity?” And, while — all things being equal — quality is preferable to quantity, there’s good news (and it isn’t that I just saved a boatload of money on my car insurance by switching to Geiko). 🙂 The good news is that not only is there no need to sacrifice one for the other…one tends to lead to the other.
Focus on quality, sure. Begin with your initial conversation where you ask “Feel-Good Questions” and, if appropriate, the One ‘Key’ Question: “How can I know if someone I’m speaking with would be a good prospect for you?” Then continue to provide this person with terrific and ongoing value. Do this consistently and you’ll begin a chain of events that will lead to high-quality referrals and introductions to others; high-quality others to whom you can focus on providing that same high-quality value.
Just as money is an echo of value (focus on providing exceptional value to your customer and the money is much more likely to follow than if you focus on the money) and receiving is the natural result of giving, focusing on quality rather than quantity…will result in much more of both.
Make sense? Would love to know your thoughts.
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Love this sentiment Bob! I have found that I usually receive my highest quality referrals from those that know me well. This makes sense as they are in a much better position to decide if something is a good fit for me and the prospect. Thanks for this post!
As ever your words are like little raindrops of wisdom. Thanks again for inspiring me.
Picking up on your comment about the ‘money’ focus what you are saying reminds me of what I call an ’emotional equity bank’ and how approach building relationships and giving increased amounts of referrals. I focus on building high quality (aka high value) emotional equity with my clients, colleagues and friends. Building quality equity in a relationship is like putting money in a bank. You’ve got to put something in before you are worthy of being able to draw anything back out.
I’ll leave you to ponder on that for a moment…
Warmest as always
The Entrepreneur Lawyer
(of the naked kind)
Chrissie, absolutely. Love that about the “emotional equity bank.” Great thought!
Perfect timing for this post. I’m going to share it with my clients! We just had this conversation last week about ‘sharing’ during networking events. It’s amazing how many people will come up to introduce themselves, shove their business card in your hands, never ask for yours and then proceed to tell you all about themselves. If they do ask you for your card they tend to stick it in their pocket without even looking at it!
One of the ways I look to add value right away is to ask the individual who their perfect client is, then throughout the event after I’ve asked the same question to a few others I introduce the ones that I feel may have something to contribute to each other. I may not be a good client match for them, nor they to me, but I can still add value by connecting them to someone else who might be a perfect match for their service.
It’s fun and a great way to make friends who want to do the same for you some day.
BTW – Chrissie, love the ’emotional equity bank’! I call it ‘cosmic escrow’ – same thing ; – )
Schelli, thank you. Yes, amazing that, in this day and age and with all the education regarding networking, that people still do that. Thank you for sharing with us your wisdom, heart, and excellent advice. Oh, very cool about the “cosmic escrow!”
Russ, thank you. Yep, comes down to that “know, like and trust” thing. 🙂 Thank you for sharing, my friend!
WOW!!! Great article, Bob! You’re absolutely correct! If we all look back on it, most of our greatest referrals have come from the relationships which we gave exceptional value. I love the line, receiving is the natural result of giving! So true!
Thanks for doing work that matters! Here’s to giving greater value!
Mikhail, thank you for your feedback and always kind words!
So very, very true. When I first started practicing online networking, I was highly focused, both in regard to who I reached out to and how I reached out to them.
Within a matter of months, I pretty much no longer had the need to do any kind of regular, structured outreach — people and opportunities came to me, and have fairly consistently ever since. I “prime the pump” occasionally, but it just doesn’t take much effort any more, since I know exactly where and how to focus that effort.
Wow, that’s great, Scott. Thank you for sharing that. Of course, as co-author of the terrific book, “The Virtual Handshake” you certainly know from whence you speak.
Bob, your comments on networking make total sense. I also liked how you wrote that in regards to quality vs. quantity, one does not have to sacrifice the other. This definitely take a load of stress off the matter and allows the networker to really engage in the networking event. Asking quality questions is also important. The sample questions you used at the Big Event during the networking exercise were awesome. As always, keep up the good work!
Aww, thank you, Chi Chi. And, congratulations again for the great article on networking you had published in a major magazine. Well done!!
Once again, Bob, you’ve resolved the either/or problem we thought we had with a simple path to the ‘and solution’. It’s got me wondering if there’s always an ‘and solution’ waiting to be discovered as it hovers above every apparent conflict that we have.
Jim, thank you. That means a lot me, my friend. Regarding your question about their always being an “and” solution…I don’t know. I would think there are times when there are not, but none come to mind. Would probably make a good discussion question. Hmmm, maybe a good one for YOUR blog, which I always enjoy reading.