Here’s a story about networking that will make your toes curl… in a good way.
My wife runs an accountancy practice and this is a true story about how networking has helped her business… and her clients’ businesses, too.
To set the scene a bit, my trouble and strife is an ace networker… she’s brilliant at the formal networking groups, mainly because she’s happy to get up at 6am to attend the meetings. In all honesty, it’s not just the fact that she can peel her back off the bed in the morning; she’s good at the process of networking, too.
In my view, her great ability is to see connections between people and businesses. And not just the obvious connections, but ones that fundamentally help people do more business, or improve their businesses, if that’s what they need.
But all this is underpinned by her networking ethos. She doesn’t make these connections expecting any personal or business gain from it… not that she would turn down a gain, of course, it’s just that she doesn’t expect any.
This means that any connections she creates between people are always genuine and she believes that both parties will benefit from getting together. It also means that she makes connections that other people wouldn’t because they can’t see what’s in it for them.
And, I suspect, it’s this ethos or approach to networking (i.e. not expecting any gain from the connections she makes) that she gets tons and tons and tons of referrals in return…
So, to the story that’s going to make your toes curl… in a good way.
One of my wife’s clients (we’ll call them client 1) referred another business to her – we’ll call them client 2 – who, it turned out, was building an excellent business. My wife got involved with some marketing, setting business targets, finances and generally helped get him on an even keel. As a result, guess what he did?
Yep, on this occasion, you’re quite right.
He referred another client (client 3) to her. Client 3 provided a service that client 1 needed and as clients 1 and 3 didn’t know each other, my most beloved put them in touch (she actually arranged the meeting, which they held in her office) and they are now doing business together!
In fact, all four businesses (clients 1, 2 and 3 + she who must be obeyed) are working so well together, they’re planning to do a bit more networking to generate even more referrals.
I think my wife is brilliant! But don’t tell her … it’ll go straight to her head!