April 10, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Networking Relationships

One of the books recommended on this blog is “Endless Referrals” by Bob Burg.  In this book, Bob discusses the 250 person “sphere of influence” that everyone has.  Other authors such as Tom Hopkins also have discussed this same theory.

Everyone has a sphere of influence of approximately 250 people.  When we meet anyone, we have the opportunity to tap into this group of people, and they have the same opportunity to tap into our group.  All of these 250 people have another 250 person sphere of influence.  That is the power of networking.

Previously, we discussed that people do business with people that they know, trust, and like.  We must let people know that we exist, what we offer, and how to do business with us.  We cannot expect others to find us, and do business with us, if they never know that we exist.  This is the one of the objectives of marketing.

When we meet others in a networking environment, we make an impression on them.  This impression can be good or bad.  Our objective is a good first impression, allowing others to know us and discover how to contact us.  It is the follow up that we perform that allows them to know what we offer and allows them to trust and to like us.

When we continue to know anyone, we need to make sure that we, and they, can tap into these “spheres of influence” that are available.  How do we do this, and what can it mean for all of us?  That is the advantage of intelligent networking and the application of Appreciation Marketing to networking.

We must follow up with people that we meet to establish ourselves as someone who cares about others, someone who can be trusted, and someone who can be thought of in an appreciative manner.  We want our contacts to know what we do or offer, that they can trust us, and that we are someone who appreciates others.

People refer others to people that they know, trust, and like.  We want access to everyone’s 250 person sphere of influence, and we want to allow them to have access to ours.  Networking is a two way street, and so is referring others.  We want to know others that we can trust and like.  Then, and only then, can we offer them referrals.

How do we get to really know anyone, and how can we like and trust them enough to refer others to them?  We meet with them and learn about each other’s aims, dreams, and beliefs.  We learn about each other’s business, what type of clients we both have and want, and how we treat our clients, prospects, former clients, family, and friends.  We follow up in various ways.

All throughout this process we show how we treat others.  If they believe that we treat them well, and they treat us well, we will establish a networking relationship, a two way street of support.  This is where Appreciation Marketing enters the picture.

Your comments about how you relate to your networking partners are always welcome.  You can also call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com.  Let’s discuss our experiences; I look forward to hearing from you, and I appreciate your support.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely said, Jim!

    One of my favorite sayings is, 'You can be giving away brand new cars, but if no one knows about it what's the point!" I see this mistake a lot. People just assume that they'll be found. Not true, so I do like and agree with this article!

    Thanks for sharing! :D