Networking Skills: Some Lessons In Giving

In recent weeks, I've been stressing that in referral marketing the best results come from being focused on choosing your business relationships and spending your business time helping them ...

This prompted a couple of people to respond that giving to receive can be seen as manipulative, however, I believe that we actually always give to receive. It might not be tangible things we want back, it may just be great personal satisfaction.

A usual motive is we give back out of thanks for all the things we have in our own life. Doesn't it make you feel great when you see the results of your giving? To me, it fulfils my sense of purpose in life to make a difference.

Three stories reminded me of the power of giving:

- I recently watched a programme on television about the expanding world population and global poverty. I cannot, for the life of me, remember the name of the programme or presenter.

However one message stuck with me. The best way to bring a family out of extreme poverty in Africa is by paying a fair price for their crops. Not a fortune, but enough for the farmer to buy a bicycle. This enables him and his family to increase their productivity and start to plan for a motorcycle.

By paying a bit more for our groceries, we gave that man so much more than a bike for Christmas. We gave him and his family respect, dignity and hope.

- Another more personal story about my mother's neighbour, Harriet. As a young woman, Harriet was severely abused by her husband. She worked hard in her local Fish & Chip shop but her husband took all the money and controlled her life completely. The owner of the fish and chip shop bought her a house to enable her to get away from her husband. What did she ask for in return? Only that Harriet gave to others whatever she could.

When I met her, Harriet still was very poor in monetary terms, but she gave and gave and gave her time to others whenever she could. Both of these women have been dead for over 10 years now, however the legacy from that original act of giving continues. Over the years I've repaid Harriet for the time she gave me when I needed it, by sharing her story and giving others my time and support.

I know that if each person I tell chooses to help someone else then Harriet would have felt she'd repaid a bit more of her original debt.

- Lastly seen on "You've Been Framed" but also witnessed with my son. A young boy gives his father a large block of chocolate for Christmas and reminds him, "You're allowed to share!"

So it's a simple message this week. In business as in life, give because you want to, and celebrate with me that the world is a better place because we did so.

Pass the chocolates!

If you'd like to learn more about referral marketing then do give me a call on 07970 638857 and let's have a chat and see how I can help you.