If you are in a transactional business, with little or no repeat business, today’s blog post may not be very relevant. However, if you are in a relationship business, built on multiple interactions with clients, it is likely you have run into this situation.
The conversation always starts with a variation of this question: “I know you don’t do this, but do you know someone who… ” Suddenly I am in a conversation about something my customer needs that I can’t provide.
As a marketing professional, I can’t provide accounting services. Well, I could but it wouldn’t be very helpful. I can’t provide legal or IT support services either. What I can do is introduce my clients to resources I trust.
Five years ago, I wrote a series of blog posts and an eBook on the subject of creating a power circle. A Power Circle is a network with which you share leads and referrals. While I don’t do as much face-to face networking as I used to, the art of the introduction is still alive and well in my business practices. I just do it a little differently these days.
Today, I make introductions through social media. If I see someone on Twitter or Facebook asking about accounting, legal or plumbing services, I am going to send a link to someone I recommend. That isn’t really different; it is just easier than ever to make introductions. And because what you do is visible to everyone, it is easy to build a reputation as someone who does share referrals. Networking meets social media and the result is social networking.
It is called the web for a reason. We are all interconnected, and the more you share, the more connections you will make, and the greater the chance the links will come back to you.