Monday, March 26, 2012

Inspiring Advocacy - How Do I Get to Carnegie Hall?

Last week’s post, The Power of Advocacy, began the conversation about how thoughtful advocacy allows one individual or entity to be promoted on the coattails or reputation of another. Where do you start if your goal is to become advocated by influential people? How do you inspire advocacy?

As you can imagine, the most sought after and valuable advocates are risk adverse. They don’t want to injure their reputation with their clients or in the community. Recommending you must make them look really smart.

Many years ago classical pianist Arthur Rubinstein was approached on a New York street and was asked, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” he replied Practice, Practice, Practice. Just like getting to Carnegie Hall, inspiring advocacy takes practice, practice, practice.
  • Practice having strong integrity and giving great service - be reliable and a leader in your profession 
  • Practice advocating for your clients and stakeholders - help the people who are important to you accomplish their goals 
  • Practice being a good citizen of your community - return calls and help strangers
Just as Arthur Rubinstein suggested there are no short cuts. You will inspire advocacy when you earn being advocated.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Power of Advocacy

There is no greater force in networking than the power of advocacy. Whether you are the one advocating or being advocated there is significant benefit. Done right, advocacy creates a leap-frog effect as the passion and story of one individual about the heroics or quality of another individual inspires others. This transferred credibility allows others to expand their knowledge and respect for both the person being endorsed and the person offering their endorsement.

Imagine standing up at a meeting and giving a heartfelt endorsement of an individual and their business. You let the audience know about how this individual went the extra mile to help a client of yours solve a major challenge. In doing so, you describe how your relationship with your client improved because this person, through their care and integrity, made you look good and in fact enriched the relationship that you enjoy with your client.

Several very positive things happen when you are able to advocate in this manner:

  • You help a client in a meaningful way by leveraging your network
  • You help a great resource in your bullpen connect to a valuable new client (what is your current cost of client acquisition?)
  • You take a leadership position in your community as someone who knows how to solve problems by making valuable connections
  • You invest in a key relationship with an important resource in your bullpen
Each of our networks is a fragile eco-system that takes continual care. When you advocate you invest in that eco-system in an exceedingly powerful way.

Next week: Inspiring Advocacy

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What's the Buzz About You?

Normally it is considered bad form to be focused on yourself when networking. Learning about the skills and needs of others and then making valuable matches is the cornerstone of effective networking.

However, having a sense of how people talk about you when you’re not present is important not just for your legacy, but to gauge how much you’re valued. Much of your long-term benefit from networking will come from the goodwill that you earn. How people talk about you is certain evidence of the state of your goodwill.

Our relationship with our community is a reflection of how we treat our community. If your concerned about your buzz take these two steps:

  1. Do as well as you can by other people - be fair, return calls, extend yourself in the service of others, etc...
  2. Be positive or say nothing - gossip and bad mouthing people serves no purpose...if you have a problem with someone take it to them and give them a chance to fix it...not only will you make a new friend, but you’ll reduce the chance of negative gossip about you...
Many years ago Dale Carnegie said: "You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” In other words, the way to make a friend is to be one.

Next week learn about, The Power of Advocacy

Monday, March 5, 2012

Networking as if Your Life Depends on It

Has anyone important to you ever gotten sick? Not just sick, but SICK? What did you do when you found out? Of course you consoled them, but what else did you do?

Did you review your contacts to see who you know who might have knowledge or relationships that would be helpful? Maybe you know someone who has had a similar SICKNESS or you know someone who knows a doctor who is a specialist in that SICKNESS.

It is amazing how good we are at networking when a life depends on it. We reach out to friends, to friends of friends and people of influence in the community to make valuable connections. We’re not intimidated, reluctant, or cautious. We jump right in.

Everyone that you know is trying to solve something. It is their SICKNESS. When you network as if your life depends on it you connect to resources who can help your best clients, friends and associates just-in-time!

Stay week we’ll explore: What’s the Buzz About You?