Archives for February 2010

What Can You Teach Your Network?

In a previous post, we discussed What You Can Learn from Your Network; this post is about What You Can Teach Your Network.  Let me start this post by stating that I have spent many years in sales and marketing and have honed my networking & referral skills by learning from the masters.  If you wish to network with other professionals, check out Business Network International (BNI); and if you wish to learn how to build your business by referral, check out Referral Institute.  I was been a member of BNI along with being a student and instructor for Referral Institute.  Much of what I have learned about Teaching my Network was learned from BNI and Referral Institute.Why would you teach your social network or the people that you see face-to-face?  Simple, so they can properly refer you, listen  for opportunities that would help you, work to promote and connect you.Ask yourself; do the people that you interact with know how to do these things for you?  If not, they need to be taught.  Do the people closest to you; your family and friends, know how to do these things for you?  If not, they need to be taught too.Here are a few suggestions:Teach Them to Listen for You: In each industry, keywords or certain phrases are like red flags.  In other words, if certain keywords or phrases for your industry were overheard during a dinner conversation , your ears would perk up and you would listen more closely,   As an example, a Realtor may want you to listen for companies hiring new workers or for people talking about moving, relocating for work or investment properties.  Teach your network to listen for keywords, phrases or opportunities for your business.Teach Them to Connect You: Make sure you have made the connections within your network that makes sense for you and for your network.  Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, etc.  This doesn’t mean you have to connect with everyone on every social platform, but connect how it makes the most sense.  Also teach your network how to connect you to others, both virtually and in person.  Do you need to meet PR professionals for your business?  If so, teach your network to connect you with PR people.  By the way, I can connect you to one of the best in the business; just ask. 🙂Teach Them to Refer You: Does your network refer business to you? How about family and friends; do they refer you?  If not, it is your responsibility to teach them how to refer you. Teach them what is a good referral for you.  Whether it is for business or personal, teach them what you need and how to refer you.  Make sure that your network knows exactly what you do, don’t assume that they do, and then teach them how to refer you.  If your network, your family and friends are not referring you….it is because you have not taught them how to refer you.Chances are your network wants to learn how they can help you.  How many times has someone asked you, “what can I do to help you?”  Have an answer ready; teach them what you need for your business or your personal life.  Teach your network and ask them how you can help them.  This is another opportunity for teaching; if they don’t have an answer, teach them how to teach others!Teaching your network, virtually and face-to-face can be rewarding; but remember, if I don’t know what you need, I can’t help you!  Those are my thoughts; what do you say?