28 Jan Networking Is More Like Farming
If networking is more like farming, how do I effectively manage my crops?
We’ve heard it before: networking is more akin to farming than it is to hunting. The act of hunting to put food on the table creates an immediate result – we go and get it. But it’s unsustainable; we have to go get it again, and next month we have to go out and get it again. A hunter-networker is out there meeting people, building relationships, adding new contacts to her list, and in the end, the “prospective clients” she is putting into the top of her Business Development Funnel are prospects that she found. Hunting in this analogy simply means that the bulk of the prospects to whom we’re presenting our business are people that we brought to the table. Nothing wrong with it. If we have quotas to meet and overhead to cover, then we gotta hunt. Hunting, however, is based in linear dynamics and does not give us leverage. As Michael Gerber of the E-Myth book series likes to say, we’re out there “doing it, doing it, doing it”.
The philosophy of a farmer-networker is a complete paradigm shift. It is based in non-linear dynamics and provides access to leverage. This kind of networker is also out their meeting people, building relationships, adding contacts to his list, however, the prospects entering his Business Development Funnel are people that were referred to him by his strategic alliances, also known as referral sources, or what I like to call “power partners”. So then, how does the difference between these two “networking worldviews” manifest itself? When a hunting-oriented networker walks into a room at a networking function or an alumni gathering, what she will see is a “room full of prospects”. When the farming-oriented networker walks into the same event, what he will see is a “room full of gateways” leading to 100’s of potential clients.
Of course, the challenge for every farmer-networker is this: if everyone in that room is a potential gateway, and if a gateway will only “let me in the door” and act as a referral source if they know, like, and trust me, then there is clearly some nurturing and fertilizing to do before that relationship becomes a fruit-bearing resource.
Click here to read the full article. I have published this as a guest article on Stacy Francis’ blog at FrancisFinancial.com.