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Who are Your Top 50 Networking Partners?

January 12, 20244 min read

Who are Your Top 50 Networking Partners?

How long has it been since you have had a One to One with them?

My colleague, Robert Knop proposed this idea last week in a post on LinkedIn. I was so inspired by that I sat down to write out my list of 50 Top Networking buddies.

The last ten where a challenge. I won't lie. But once I got there, I thought of 5 more people.

I really took this idea to heart.

Robert keeps a spreadsheet for this project. We've discussed back and forth with our ideas about this and we added a column for Virtual meetings or IRL.

My first Business Coach taught me that "what you track, you attract." And my friend Mike is so meticulous about keeping track of who refers to him.

He's even more meticulous about referring back.

It's challenging sometimes. It isn't every day I can refer to a mortgage lender. But Sean is one of my best referral partners.

So I asked him this week, "Who can I introduce you to that will add to the value of your network?"

Here's an example of how Mike makes this happen. One of his best referral partners is a CPA. It's hard for him to refer to him.

If you're in marketing, it's rare someone asks you about professionals outside you field.

So he asked where his best business came from. Spanish speaking Family Law Attorneys and Estate Planners. Mike reached out to his network for those referrals. I sent him 5 great connections from my network.

This is how business happens.

IMHO, the pandemic reminded us how important human connection, supporting hyper local, and good old fashioned networking truly are. It's Golden.

Going forward, those that network the most effectively will be the most successful. It is a skill, anyone can learn it. And, it takes effort and time.

I am about half way through scheduling my One to Ones with my Fabulous 50.

Business IS personal. It comes out of relationship and trust.

Regular conversations with your people is how you find opportunities.

One of my Fab 50 and I have met at least a half dozen times in a year and a half to figure out how we can refer to each other. It is finally beginning to pay off.

I read an article this week in the WSJ about how long it takes to form a close friendship. 200 hours. Yikes! That's 5 40 hour weeks!

It's not like grade school where you share your favorite rock, or you always pick the 'lesser' choices for dodge ball and you're best friends for life. And, you stand up in each other's weddings.

Adult friendships and business relationships are intentional and take longer to form.

It is rare to get a referral from someone you just met, no matter how much you like them or how well they understand what you do.

The higher the ticket your services are and the more specialized, the more challenging it is to refer.

Your Fab 50 should be trusted high level professionals that really understand you, your business, and your offerings. They need to intimately know what problem you solve, and what to listen for that will tip them off that someone might need your solution.

This takes nurturing.

Make this year about nurturing your Fab 50. Or prune. Find some new partners.

If you're not actively networking, how will you grow your business?

Life long relationships are the Gold in what we do. Be they clients or referral partners.

until next time...

Angela

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Angela Dunz

Angela calls herself The “Accidental Entrepreneur,” having moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with her shiny new MBA and dreams of being a CMO. Instead, she started her own business. Would you like to be a Thought Leader on LinkedIn? Angela is the #LinkedInBadass sharing her expertise in Business Development, Professional Branding, Visibility & Optimization on LinkedIn. Without a website, she built her entire vibrant business using free LinkedIn! She is a former Rock Climbing Guide and lives in Marin where the hiking and the weather are fabulous. Being from Wisconsin, she is a diehard Packer Fan 💚💛and shareholder.

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