The Network effect – for your personal growth

B2B, compounding, Networking, relationships

If you search Wikipedia the network effect is how the value of the good or services increases with the number of participants. Companies which operate on this kind of a phenomenon grow in value exponentially. Think Amazon. The more the participants on the market place that they have created, the more the customers whose needs will get fulfilled and they will buy more, more often. This is positive feedback loop with more consumers on the marketplace, more the people who will want to sell on the Amazon Marketplace. The growth of these kind of companies is exponential.

In case of B2B having connections with people and keeping relationships alive is a big positive. While social media helps getting connected to people, it does not help build relationships. So while I may have a 1000+ connections on Linkedin, my relationships would be very limited.

You build relationships by giving first. By doing that you invoke the reciprocity principle espoused by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence. What is however even more important, is to keep the relationships alive. People keep moving. They changes places, they change jobs. When they do that, they get connected to more people. To emphasise the value of your individual network, Joe Polish runs Genius Network which is a network where super successful entrepreneurs network and master mind.

The more people you know, the more people who fall into your network. I have had introductions to people because of my relationships that I cultivated over years. Those connects in turn helped us get even bigger, because now there were more people who got connected to us and invited us to work with them. Such people who can connect you to such major influencers can change the trajectory of your business completely. The more pf these kind of people you form relationships, the more influencers you get connected to indirectly.It was typical to the definition of the Network Effect I spoke about earlier. This kind of exponential growth is compounding over a period of time.

You have to however be patient. “Rome was not built in a Day” applies to building relationships as well. Also not everyone you “give first” will reciprocate and you don’t know the timeline when they will reciprocate, if they ever will. But you keep doing this work on a consistent basis because when the critical mass is reached, there’s a sudden explosion in the kind of business you can grow.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Sometimes opportunities come looking for you.

Karma, Networking, relationships

Being in marketing and sales I am always looking to find ways to get opportunities.  Some of the methods I  have written about  in separate posts are finding the right “elephant ” to ride so that wherever the elephant finds opportunities,  it takes us alongside.

Then I  have written multiple times about other partnership  mechanisms to help you get closer to opportunities.

Today I  will write about  what Richard Koch talks about in his wonderful book, The 80/20 for Manager- the power of loose and distributed networks .

One network is  what you build consciously by nurturing various people, by giving value in advance. This is something that Joe Polish calls his Genius Network. With these people you stay in touch, help them and they in turn help you. So when they see an opportunity they join hands with you to address the opportunity or you take their advice to get that opportunity.

Then their are networks where people know you through other people or because you have at some point worked with them. In either case they remembered you because they believed that you are good person and good in the job.

It is these kind of people who refer you for an opportunity to a friend or to a third party , without any possible gain to themselves, except the feeling of helping someone.

It’s then that opportunities come searching for you. If you have helped enough people, and you’re known for doing a good and honest job , then people love recommending you. This is what happened today with me.

Out of the blue today somebody came seeking me out to showcase our products/ services at an event they are doing and they won’t be charging me anything. We are always looking out for opportunities to showcase our solutions to a wide audience and this is a God send eventhough the time is very short.

It comes back to my basic philosophy to always help people, excuse some where the Karmic cycle plays its role.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Riding the elephant – Using the power of relationships – networking

Influence, Marketing, Networking, Partners, relationships, Symbiotic relationship

Usually when you make friend with an elephant, you also tend to make friends to the elephants in the herd. Elephants generally move in herds. Which means you can always make more than one friend at a time. Networking is all about making multiple friends and helping them – first.

Its similar when you are able to move with one contact in a large OEM organisation which is starting something new – and this is key – if they are already well established they will not be interested into building a deep relationship. That time the relationships are more transactional.

When they are getting in new – even if they have been established, but they are getting in a new product or service – then if you can make them succeed, then the team involved with you gets into a deeper relationship with you. They are willing to recommend you.

In this the principle of reciprocity plays a big role. Robert Cialdini first articulated this principle in his book Influence. Its worth reading the book if you have anything to do with marketing.

Once you help the team which is targeted for this new offering launch, succeed with you or because of you then if you ask them for a favour to connect you with other members of the team in other regions, other countries, they oblige.

I built a lot of my international network of people because of this. Now I ask my team members to do the same thing. Being a small company we are always limited on resources, but building networks doen’t need resources. It needs humility, it needs you to be paying in advance and things work.

Most people don’t get this right because they go into any relationship with “what’s in it for me” rather than “what can I do for her” . Let me however put a caveat here – you will find some selfish people who will take advantage of this. I had given this same advice to my son and he did this with one of the restaurant owners for their free photo / advertising and she just took the photos and used them herself. But for every such incident, I have also had one person referring me to at least 6-7 new people, so it pays off. And these become long term relationships.

Till next time use the herd of elephants to build your networks and take you places.

Carpe Diem!!!