We as people crave community. so why is it that when we’re feeling absolutely lost we regress and separate ourselves from everyone and; everything? That’s definitely a step in the wrong direction.
A networking group is a tribe; a group of people connected to each other. A tribe is basically a village of customers, friends, competitors, clients, etc. On average 70% of all new business is gained through word of mouth and positive recommendation. You need to belong to a tribe!
People in tribes help each other. Have you ever thought about how good it feels when you have helped someone whether it is by saving them time and effort by providing them with a useful contact, passing someone a referral or directly giving someone a piece of useful advice? That is just one of the benefits of business networking.
“It’s a fact of life: birds flock, fish school, people tribe.” – Dave Logan
It may be tough at first. You may go from person to person to person looking for someone to click with. Never give up. it WILL happen and it will feel amazing when you find those two or three people who you can truly count on. They will be someone you can call them when you’re feeling low, they will always listen. Call them when you have great news, they’ll smile with you. We need to be together, we need to be here for each other.
Those who are interested in marketing and leadership should check out “Tribes”. If you have a career in marketing you should definitely check it out – given the status of Seth Godin in this field. There is good advice here for both marketing and leadership, and is worth a look – I will likely continue reading his other books now that I have completed “Tribes”.
Every tribe has a language or jargon. Whether it’s rabid fans of a sports team, residents of a neighborhood, members of a social class, a networking group, or just people who share an interesting obsession, every tribe has a language. When you’re trying to persuade a particular member of the tribe, you’ve got to find the language that they use every day. IF you do not know the difference between a sales lead and a referral, you send a signal that you’re not one of them. Listen.
“We are attracted to people who are like ourselves or those we tend to “like. Birds of a feather flock together. It’s familiar, predictable and requires little effort. To grow… you must go beyond YOU and those similar to you. Desires not yet fulfilled may require cooperation with those not yet known. Be open… and they will appear.” ~ Dr. Jake Caputo
Develop the habit of writing down scraps of conversation that you hear. Keep file folders of customer comments, and go through it looking for interesting turns of phrase. Don’t “clean up” client testimonials too much – leave the linguistic quirks and oddities.
Listen more than you talk, and read more than you write if you’re building a tribe.
You don’t just have to stick with the tribes that exist already. Creating your own is one of the most effective (and fun) ways to build a business or project.
You don’t have to force this “secret language.” Just keep your ears open for the ideas and metaphors your villagers respond to. When you come up with a good turn of phrase, keep using it. Repetition is your friend. How about you? What’s the secret language of your tribe?
You may not think it’s a tribe or call it something else like a group, association or a league or a class or demographic, but we all belong to a tribe in one way or another.
There is no tribe of normal. People don’t coalesce into active and committed tribes around the status quo. The only vibrant tribes in our communities are the ones closer the edges, or those trying to make change. The center is large, but it’s not connected. If you’re trying to build a tribe, a community or a movement, and you want it to be safe and beyond reproach at the same time, you will fail. Heretical thoughts, delivered in a way that capture the attention of the minority – that’s the path that works. ~ Seth Godin
NOTE: A special “thank you” to Seth Godin for his contribution to this article.
Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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