Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you passed a referral to someone in your networking group they would respond with a referral for you? You bet! Networking is not a “this-for-that” kind of thing. It doesn’t work that way.
It’s not important to keep score of how many referrals you receive and how many you get back from that person. So many networkers are obsessed with keeping score of how many referrals are created, how many are given and received by each person in the group that they often become distracted from the real reason they are there. In my opinion they should be more interested in who is not receiving referrals so you and the others in your group can make a concerted effort to help them.
“Go without any expectations and enjoy yourself. The secret to the whole process is your attitude.” ~ Jessica Pierce, Executive Director of Career Connectors
Let’s say that you have given lots of referrals to someone in your network of support and one day you realize that they have never given you a referral. You begin to wonder, “What’s up with that? I sent him all this business, but he never gives anything back!” You think about not referring him anymore until he gives back to you. Makes sense, right?
When you focus on keeping score and stop referring, you can miss out on numerous opportunities. You can never tell where you’re next referral is coming from. When it does… rejoice that you will have received “unexpected income!”
“My Golden Rule of Networking is this: Reciprocity without keeping score! Simply stated, it means what can I do for you without expecting anything in return?” ~ Harvey Mackay, author of “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need”
“My definition of business networking is this: Networking is using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return!” ~ Larry James, author of “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections!
You must give without keeping score. Don’t shop for gratitude in your phone calls, your one-on-ones or e-mail. Network with others because you like and respect the other person and honestly want to help. If you manage your career and live your life in this way, magical things will happen.
Harvey Mackay says, “Never abuse confidences and or share inside information. You only have to do this once, and you’ll be marked as a security risk for life. Worst of all: You’ll never learn what others know about you and why they won’t trust you.”
The quality of your business (and your life) is determined by the quality of your relationships. That’s the key. People who like and trust you will go to extraordinary lengths to help you. If you become distracted by keeping score, you often lose the opportunity to focus on developing and nurturing the kind of relationships you need to have that happen. Creating meaningful relationships is difficult, but maintaining mutually beneficial relationships is even more difficult. Connecting with others is a constant process of giving and receiving and of asking for and offering help.
One more thing… never not pass a referral just because the person isn’t in your networking group. Just keep doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, without expectations. Unfulfilled expectations always cause problems.
To build a powerful network of genuine, mutually beneficial relationships, you must truly care about helping others to become successful. Your network of support should operate as a team. Everyone on a team is suppose to support each other. If you do not share this idea, you should stop networking today!
If you MUST keep score… periodically check the numbers on how many people you have helped in your network! Continue to run that number up!
Savvy networkers have discovered that the currency of effective networking is not greed but generosity. STOP keeping score!
BONUS Article: Networking Defined!
Copyright © 2012 – 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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