The next few weeks are going to require a review of what you’ve already done so take a minute to go back and review your lists for weeks one and two before you post your work from this weeks assignment. You should have generated so many ideas by now that it’s hard to contain them.
If you haven’t already started with week one, go back to the “rules of the game” blog post and start there. It’s not too late, you might not get caught up with the contest but you can keep up with the class. We’ll bring the contest back again in the second quarter 2009 and you’ll have an early start.
**IMPORTANT** If you’re going to play along, don’t just do the exercises for yourself. Posting your results ads to the community of learning and helps others get to see and know your business. You’ll be surprised who’ll want to help you.
Be sure to read this entire weeks lesson before you jump in. There is no particular order.
The next few lessons come almost entirely from Ivan Misner’s work on building a WOMBAT plan. I’ve put our unique spin on this but I highly recommend that you purchase his book “Business By Referral” when you get a chance. Please see sample exercise so that you’ll know how to post your results for this week.
Compiling your current and future contact data
It’s important for a master networker to be able to collect and use data from his/her networks. Today you are going to need more than the basic contact information. You’ll need to know their cell address, do they have a skype account, are they using LinkedIn, Facebook maybe even Ning? You’ll want to understand what kinds of contacts they have that might want to use your services or help you find a job. Decide how you wish to assemble all your contacts in one location through whatever medium is easiest for you. It may be a combination of things such as your:
Computer database Vendor/client list (I use Outlook and Excel)
Mailing lists Rolodex (maybe LinkedIn or Jott)
Business card box Etc. (yes get those stacks of cards off your desk and organize them)
Segment your contacts
Decide how you want to segment your contacts and post results (see example below).
Define your team
Contact Spheres are businesses or professions that can easily provide a source of referrals for one another. They have a symbiotic, compatible, noncompetitive relationship with one another, such as a lawyer, CPA, financial planner, and banker.
List the unique talents and skills that might make you attractive to them. They may make great reciprocal partners later.
Plan to quarterback your own team
You must take responsibility for your networking activity and results. The quarterback is central to every offense; in this case every business acquisition or networking strategy. You’ll be the key figure to a host of others that have similar interest to you. Your team members may have the same client demographics that you do and work in the same markets. Each team member should be unique but not a competitor. We already talked about the symbiotic relationship above. Guess who the star player is? That would be you! You’re the one that knows all of the plays!
List five habits that you’ll need to be a good quarterback.
List at least five types of firms that you should build partnerships or alliances with to better enable you to serve your market. We sometimes refer to these as “golden geese”. They continue to lay the “golden eggs” that you want but you have to care for them. Don’t eat them! Selling to your team members could be hazardous to your health!
Establish contact goals (remember goals are always SMART, back to week two)
Don’t become a cave dweller. You will have to constantly engage your networks. Set goals for the number of appointments you will establish with the people you want to have in your team or will build an alliance with.
Sample Lesson Posting for Week Three
I will maintain and integrate the data to manage my contacts in the following areas
- Cell Phone
- Various NING sites
- Franklin Planner
I will segment my contacts in the following ways
- A-for clients, active and inactive
- B-golden geese or referral sources
- C-suspects and friends
- D-no bodies
My team members will:
- have burning desire to be the best in their field
- have the demonstrated capacity to grow their business by 50%
- be willing to meet weekly with each other to plan and account for our success
- embrace the givers gain philosophy
- be willing to engage new technology, social-networking, etc
- belong to other engaging networks
To be a good quarter-back I’ll need to have the same characteristics of my team members above plus:
- be focused on delivering results for the team
- help with research and recruiting of solid team members
- engage with team members outside of team meetings
- bring new innovative ideas to the table
I’ll need to recruit excellent members of the following professions to my team:
- small business attorney
- telecommunications specialist
- web developer
- business broker
- commercial Realtor
I will engage my team with:
- weekly discussions on my blog
- weekly discussions on the various Coach Powell Communities (Linked, Facebook etc.)
- create one thousand more GAINS profiles (phone interviews will be fastest)
- see each golden goose for a personal meeting at least monthly (make and fulfill meaningful commitments)
- ask golden geese for three referrals deliver five monthly (deliver more than you take)
- present my business plan to all golden geese immediately the next two months