I was having a great conversation with a long-time colleague and friend, Stephen Meade last evening that lead to a discussion around what creates great social networking. Stephen offered the following insights:
People love recognition, referrals, and revenue. To that end, I love making introductions.
However, keep in mind the 3 C’s when you do so.
Make a referral, but hope you get back:
- Credit (for the referral, especially when other people use your contact for their benefit, they should give you public credit for the introduction)
- Contacts (that can help you and your business)
- Compensation (If and when appropriate, compensation)
I was pleased to see such a simple overview of what often goes unsaid in a networking exchange. So, I ask you, how many times have you connected with someone who reached out to you where you ended up offering support in the form of ideas or leads or even referrals where you got back absolutely nothing?
If you wonder what you can do to avoid these experiences I recommend that you create upfront contracts with your networking partners. Share with them what your expectations are and ask them what their expectations are emphasizing that the more clearly you share intentions the better the outcomes for you and your networking colleagues.
What do you think? Are there other ways you have seen work well to better ensure successful outcomes for your networking? Please comment below and share this with your colleagues to get their input.