I recently read an article written by Joanne Kaufman entitled, I’m Tired of Taking One for “The Team.”
She lamented the fact that “staffs, colleagues, co-workers or office mates are gone. Instead, businesses have teams.”
She goes on to let us know the word “boss” is no longer applicable. They are “team leaders or thought partners.” Perhaps the executive suite should be called the “sky box?”
This got me thinking. Who’s on your team? You will likely flash back and think about your company and the folks that support you. In banking that would be the credit team, the note department team, and of course, the indispensible operations team. At the holidays, you give cookies or something nice to those “interior” teams, don’t you?
But wait. There’s another team out there. It’s the team we call your “advocates.” It’s the team of referral partners who have enough confidence in you that whenever they run across an opportunity, you are the person they go to. These are the folks you’ve moved up to the “A” and “B” list on your referral matrix (refer to my book, The Mindset of Networking®).
These are the referral partners who belong on the immediate circle around your business and those who are on the second circle around your business. The first circle would be a business vertical that you have direct synergy with. The second circle contains business verticals that touch the same prospective clients that you need to touch. You need to have a symbiotic relationship with those folks.
Once you’ve identified the business verticals within those two circles, you can then put names to them and actively seek out meaningful referral relationships. This is the rifle approach to networking versus the shotgun approach.
Take good care of your team members whether they are internal or external, as they will take good care of you.
Ms. Kaufman admits at the end of her article that she would rather be off in the corner playing solitaire. I guess her team member is her iPad.
Good luck and good networking.