Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

07970 638857


Jacky Sherman

Networking For Your Network

How do you know you've cracked it?

Posted on: 25/09/2013   By: Jacky Sherman

You know you've cracked your referral marketing when you're spending your networking time finding contacts and opportunities for others rather than yourself. I love finding connections for people I know ...

Networking for your network means that you bridge the gap between those contacts you think should know each other.

Networking for your network means that you bridge the gap between those contacts you think should know each other.

It becomes addictive. For me, the feedback from people from an introduction I made that turned into business fulfills my sense of purpose. That the world is different and better because of something I did.

However, the skill of connecting people is not something I was born with - it's something I have learnt to do. Here's some thoughts to help you improve your skills too:

  1. Mind set - Most importantly. get yourself into the mindset that this is something you want to do. You will need to tick some of these points to motivate yourself to do it:

    • You want to help your network contact. Just because you like them and like helping people you like.

    • You want to motivate people in your network to help you. The Law of Reciprocity, Givers Gain: "I help you win more business and you'll help me in return."

    • You want to develop a relationship with this new person you've just met. Nothing cements a budding relationship more than doing something for each other. So start the process with a simple connection to someone you know who can help them and it helps your network contact too! Win/Win!

    • You want to enhance your reputation as a great networker. Maybe there's nothing directly in it for you with this person. However, if you help connect them to someone you know then both parties are going to talk about you positively. Great PR!

  2. Trust - Good business relationships are built on trust. Here's some pointers to think about:

    • Only connect people in your network who you trust will be able to help this person. Check with them before confirming.

    • This new person you've met ... you haven't had the chance to build trust yet. Make sure your network contact knows this.

    • You are asking your network contact to establish the trusting relationship for you. Keep yourself in the loop.

    • If you are spending your time networking for your network you have to trust that they are reciprocating. That's a whole blog in itself so next week so I'll talk about how to make sure this happens!

  3. Know your contacts' businesses and what sort of person they want to meet - You need to understand enough about their business to spot opportunities that will help them. Also the clearer the picture of who they want to meet the more likely you are going to spot someone. So quiz them well and often about who they want to meet. See my blog called A Wedding planner and a Cardboard Factory.

  4. Have them in mind EVERY time you're networking - Business people are busy people with lots on their mind and you're no different. In order to have this person come to mind means ensuring that you have regular contact with them.

    I find the best time for making connections for people in my network is 48 hours after we've made some sort of contact. So the people I see regularly are the people I connect or refer most frequently. It kind of feeds itself but also do plan to have contact with specific people on a regular basis. This needs to be face to face as well as using that wonderful tool for a committed networker ... social media.

    TIP: Keep a list of people you really want to help in your diary against the event you're going to. It will jog your memory to think of them at the event. You'll be amazed how often this leads to a "coincidence" of meeting someone who you can connect to them.

  5. Listen to the people you meet - What do they do, who do they do it for. Read my blog post from two weeks ago for more.

  6. Ask if they'd like to meet your contact - Describe how you think "X" could be a good person for them to know. Say you will contact them and then put them in touch. You will want to check your contact is happy to meet this person.

    TIP: Invite both parties to your networking group to meet each other. That way you enhance your reputation with others in your network group too. A plus is the organiser will love you to bits and as they know lots of people they'll be more motivated to refer you too!

Skills Practice. The only way to develop and improve your skills is to get out there and practice. No-one learns to play golf just by reading a blog post or watching a video. Can I be really cheeky here and suggest you practice with me? Can you connect me with some people I want to meet?

I'm looking for people whose ideal client is:

  • The Human Resources leader.

  • In a company with 50 plus staff.

  • Is supported by their MD to develop their people.

  • Has a history of buying in specialist expertise and support.

  • Sends their employees to appropriate external training.

I'm bringing together a group of these people to help them refer to each other. It's so much easier to get referrals from someone who is also talking to your ideal clients and knows how to give and take referrals. Here's some of the types of people I'd like to have at my event:

Recruitment Companies

Employment Lawyers

HR Consultancies

HR IT Software Providers

Process Engineers

Employment Screening


Conflict Resolution

Executive Coaches

Travel Companies

Relocation Consultancies

Translation Services

Vehicle Leasing

Accommodation Agencies

Hotel and Venue Providers

Occupational Health

Health Insurance

Staff Benefits

Management Trainers

Apprenticeships Trainers

Skills Trainers

So what's in it for you then? Your contacts will thank you for thinking of them even if they don't come, then be more motivated to help you in return. I will thank you by connecting you to someone who can help you meet the people you want to meet AND you have practiced your connecting skills!

Next week I will talk about how to ensure that the people you help really do help you in return. If you’d like some individual help with your networking then it may be a great idea to call me on +44 (0) 7970 638857 or click here to ping over an email and I'll get right back to you.

Until next time ...


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