Networking Skills For Your Team: Part 3 - What Skills?
Different people, different needs ...
POSTED BY JACKY SHERMAN ON 03/02/2016 @ 8:00AM
When thinking about this third blog post in my series about networking skills, my original thought was to work through the list of skills different people in your team need to play their part in generating business from their networking activities. On reflection that would quickly turn into a series of books that have already been written ...
When developing the right networking skills for your team, the aim is to move from the Window of Invisibility to Shared Knowledge.
I personally have written over 100 blog posts, all of which have drawn on this body of knowledge and others within our organisation have done so as well through the More Money Mondays series that you can sign up for through my website.
So rather than try to condense all that knowledge into a two-page blog post, I thought I'd just give you some food for thought on how to assess what you and your team need to know. This thinking drew me to two models that will help you.
First is our categories of the three competencies necessary to gain mastery in referral marketing.
Have the right knowledge. There are an awful lot of myths out there about 'how to network' and you only have to go to a few networking events to see them in action and sigh at how many people actually alienate the very people who could help them!
Immerse yourself in the material. Knowing is one thing, doing is quite another. So each individual needs help in developing techniques that work for them personally. In relationships, one size does not fit all. Also constant immersion in the material is essential as there is a lot to learn and it is easy to slide back into old habits.
Train your referral sources. Others in your network need to have the same knowledge about networking as you do and know enough about your business (and particularly your ideal customers), otherwise you may be expecting referrals when they have no idea how to spot opportunities for you.
This last point brings me to the other model, explained in the picture above. It's called 'The Johari Window'. This was developed and is still used mainly in self-development work, but I think it is useful to help you assess what new knowledge and techniques your team need and who could provide these.
The aim of this model is to shift as much as possible into the Shared Knowledge window and enable new knowledge to flow in from outside sources, thus reducing the Window of Invisibility and lose more of the dreaded "I don't know what I don't know".
There are different types of knowledge and skills that you need to share with your team.
Does your team have a clear idea of why you're in the business you're in, what you do and how you do it? Do they know who your target market is and what sort of person is likely to know those people? i.e who in their network can be useful and who they should look out for when networking on your behalf.
Where to network
Do they know where best to find the people you want them to meet? Impactful impressions. Do they know how to operate in a networking environment in a manner that reflects well on your company and makes others want to work with them and you?
Can they put this information across with clarity so that others can introduce them with confidence?
Inspiration and motivation
Do they know how to build relationships that inspire and motivate others to want to help them in this way?
It is easy to assume that you have high levels of these skills and that your team know them too. Taking the time to find out how many of those assumptions are true can be enlightening.
It is my experience also that working through this knowledge and practicing the skills with each other and known masters of networking will significantly reduce your Window of Invisibility.
Then something else happens too. Real new knowledge about your company and innovative ways of working with others to generate new business emerges out of the collective conversations.
"That's the real magic that happens when you apply this model in detail!"
So if you don't know what you don't know how can you find out? Go back to your Johari Window and assess your team's knowledge and techniques for their place in generating new business for you:
What do they already do well?
What knowledge have you shared or not shared with them?
What do they know about your business or their networks that they haven't shared with you?
Undertake our self-assessment to work out what neither of you know by visiting the resources page at my website. Now make a plan on how to re-design your Johari Window to make your Shared Knowledge the main place that light shines into your business.
If this looks daunting why not get some help? Contact me to arrange a fact-finding consultation on 07970 638857 and let's get a date in the dairy to meet up and see how I can help you.
Until next time ...
More about Jacky Sherman ...
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those a-ha moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forward. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to work with Ascentiv and train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
What a fantastic way to earn a living!
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