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One of the Most Important Steps in Business Networking (video)

One of the Most Important Steps in Business Networking (video) | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it

If you don’t know what a Contact Sphere is, I urge you to watch this short video because developing a Contact Sphere is one of the most important steps in business networking. 

 

After watching the video, think about who might be a good fit for you in creating a Contact Sphere and if you have questions, please leave them in the comment forum below.  I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have and, also, if you’ve already developed a Contact Sphere, please share your thoughts on how it has helped you to grow your business.


Via paulgreen
Patrick Ewers's insight:

For many 80% of their referrals will come from 20% of people so the concept of  a contact sphere is a really valuable insight. 

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paulgreen's curator insight, February 7, 2013 11:14 AM

This is very relevant to any networker looking to grow their business in an effective way

Gonçalo Hall's curator insight, February 13, 2013 11:01 AM

Business networking and events related to it are one of the best ways to grow your company and make good business conections. Your circle of trust is the one who will make a huge impulse in your sales. Make it happen, good business networking is essencial.

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Networking: The Art Of The Cold Call (Or E-mail) | CAREEREALISM

Networking: The Art Of The Cold Call (Or E-mail) | CAREEREALISM | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Calling someone you don’t know or sending an introductory e-mail can be terrifying for even the best networker. Here are some cold call networking tips.
Patrick Ewers's insight:

Realistically, there are going to be times when you lose touch with a contact or want to reach out to someone you haven't been introduced to yet. In this article, it provides a good structure of how to reach out in these cases.

  • I think the main thing in reaching out to anyone is to be clear and concise. This is particularly true in the professional world where many of us are juggling many different things. By sticking to the point, you'll be showing your contact that you are respectful and considerate of their time.
  • One of the ways you can be clear is by simply stating the purpose of your outreach. Other than that, you'll want to help them understand why it's relevant to them. This is when you have the opportunity to explain your background and why you think it would be worth their time to get back to you.
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Seven Ways to Build Rapport Anytime

Seven Ways to Build Rapport Anytime | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
  Rapport building isn't just something you do when you first meet someone or as a part of a sales call or a negotiation.  As leaders (and human beings) one of our goals must be to build better and...
Patrick Ewers's insight:
I really like this article because it offers simple but smart tips on building relationships in meaningful ways. This is one of the most important things you can do as it helps drives success and happiness.
  • Knowing what is meaningful, relevant and valuable to your contacts allows you to provide them with a positive experience with every interaction. This is a great way to build trust which, in my view, is critical in relationship management. You should aim to continue learning about them.
  • Once you know what is important to your network, this allows you to have opportunities to stay in touch with them, not only to followup, but to send them items they would find valuable and meaningful. That's much better than just sending a typical follow - up email and it's something they'll appreciate (and probably thank you for).
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How to Find Common Ground When You’re a Woman in a Male-Dominated World

How to Find Common Ground When You’re a Woman in a Male-Dominated World | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Patrick Ewers's insight:
A challenge that was recently brought to my attention was how to find common ground when you're working in a business/industry that's mostly dominated by the opposite gender.
  • In this article, you will find pragmatic tips and steps on how to find common ground with those you work with - male or female.
  • I am a firm believer that there's always something in common that you can find with another person. It's just a matter of acting and engaging.
  • By finding common ground, you will automatically increase the chances of deepening relationships and becoming more successful.
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Lessons we can learn From President Lincoln to achieve success through our network

Lessons we can learn From President Lincoln to achieve success through our network | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Patrick Ewers's insight:
There are many lessons to be learned from Abraham Lincoln and in this article, it talks about three specific strengths he had.
  • In NRM, it's very valuable to have the skill of humbleness. People perceive that as an admirable quality and automatically sets you apart from many other professionals. This gives you a step up in the likability area.
  • Knowing your audience and having the ability to talk about your topic from different perspective is a skill that takes practice and a lot of effort. I believe these efforts are well worth it as it allows you to get the message to more people than you otherwise would.
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A Great Lesson on Letting Go

A Great Lesson on Letting Go | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Patrick Ewers's insight:
If you are like me, you realize and embrace the fact that change is always occurring and is actually a great thing. In my view, many things have benefited with change - technology and business just being a couple.
  • I think accepting change is a good thing as it simply allows for growth. In business, the most successful people are those who never stop improving, changing and learning.
  • Being open minded is also a valuable trait in business because it provides room for new ideas.
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Networking Should Never Be Forced

How strong is your social network? (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The following piece is co-authored with Lisa Chau. To many professionals, networking seems like a painful chore.
Patrick Ewers's insight:

I love this article from Forbes because it offers pragmatic advice that starts with changing how you perceive Networking. As many of us know, the way you feel about something can greatly influence how you perform in that particular area.

  • Networking is really critical for many businesses, especially those that are referral-based. Because it's so important, it needs to be genuine or people will have a poor impression of you from the start. Make sure you work on your attitude towards Networking and you'll be surprised just how much success you can gain from it.
  • I especially like the point about adding value - this is paramount. When you provide value to your audience, they'll trust you and your product. Always aim to be meaningful, valuable and relevant with every interaction you have.
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LinkedIn Turns Its Contacts Section Into A Personal Assistant, With Google, Yahoo, Evernote & Outlook Apps Integration And A Standalone iPhone App | TechCrunch

LinkedIn Turns Its Contacts Section Into A Personal Assistant, With Google, Yahoo, Evernote & Outlook Apps Integration And A Standalone iPhone App | TechCrunch | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
TechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.
Patrick Ewers's insight:
This is an interesting article about a recent update LinkedIn has made that I think is really smart. Here are some of my favorite points:
  • I love how the update allows you to manage our contacts in a more efficient and organized way.
  • The additional integrations are a great change that I think will let users have even more of their contacts in one place.
  • My favorite thing about this update is the relationship part of each contact. This is a great way to know how you have recently interacted with them and how you should manage your future interactions to ensure a consistent experience to each contact.
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7 Tips from Professional Networkers

7 Tips from Professional Networkers | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
A successful career is increasingly about who you know, not what you know.Sure, having a skillset is important, and you won’t get very far without one. Professional networking is just as
Patrick Ewers's insight:

I agree with the notion in this article that who you know can be just as significant (or more) as what you know. This is one of the many reasons why networking and nurturing your relationships is so critical. Here are some of my favorite points:

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5 Reasons Meetings Don't Suck

5 Reasons Meetings Don't Suck | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
learn to love business meetings, preparing for meetings, career advice
Patrick Ewers's insight:

This is a great article that can help you change the way you view meetings. Yes, sometimes it can become a chore, but in many ways, it is so valuable - as Rebecca outlines in her article. Since many of us have meetings on a regular basis, I think it's worthwhile to read these concepts. Here are some of my favorite points:

  • Collaborating and talking about ideas is actually one of the best ways to get input that you otherwise may not have thought of yourself. The saying 'Two minds are greater than one' is true for that reason.


  • 'You get to practice being likeable' - this is brilliant. Every interaction you have is an opportunity to expand your relationships in trust and respect. Seize these moments and make them count. When people leave with a positive impression of you, it's likely to benefit you in one way or another.
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The Contactually Blog | Powering your Business Relationships

The Contactually Blog | Powering your Business Relationships | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Contactually helps you better track, manage, and improve your professional relationships. We turn your email conversations into actionable next steps.
Patrick Ewers's insight:

Here's a great blog post about managing relationships. Not only is Contactually an excellent tool to help with that but this article offers additional tips on the topic.

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The Contactually Blog | Powering your Business Relationships

The Contactually Blog | Powering your Business Relationships | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Contactually helps you better track, manage, and improve your professional relationships. We turn your email conversations into actionable next steps.
Patrick Ewers's insight:

Writing a quality email could mean the difference between grabbing someone's attention or being overlooked. This article provides tips to help you construct a meaningful and relevant email to a target.

  • Subject lines are important because they are the first thing your audience sees. You need to stand out and offer value right from the start.
  • The body of the email is where you can really exercise your skills. You'll find great tips in this article to get your point across in a tactful and meaningful way.
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How to Stay Productive While on the Road

How to Stay Productive While on the Road | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Don't let traveling set you back when it comes to getting things done. Here are four ways to stay on top of your game even when you're living out...
Patrick Ewers's insight:
Here's a great article that offers great tips on how to be productive when you're mobile. This is extremely relevant for many of the professionals I know as they are constantly on the move. Traveling and going from meeting to meeting can make it challenging to be as efficient as you can be. This is definitely worth a read!
  • I completely agree with having your ideas in one place, specifically in a place you can have on you at all times. This can be useful when you run into a situation where your next meeting is pushed back a bit at the last minute. Instead of wasting 15 min of time you could be productive, you can pull out your list and see what you can get done in that time.
  • Using shortcuts can be extremely valuable to an often mobile professional. I definitely suggest people find ways to do so such as, dictating emails on the road (that can be transcribed by an assistant) or simply finding easy ways to cut corners through technology (without cutting out on quality) that will make your life easier and allow you to be more efficient.
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The Contactually Blog | Powering your Business Relationships

The Contactually Blog | Powering your Business Relationships | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Contactually helps you better track, manage, and improve your professional relationships. We turn your email conversations into actionable next steps.
Patrick Ewers's insight:

Here's an amazing article about how and when to Follow up with your contacts. Since there are so many of us that manage an excess of 1,000 contacts, Contactually is such a valuable tool.

  • I love how Contactually users have a 2 day average turn around time for responses. For some, that would be close to impossible.
  • I completely agree with finding a happy balance with following up. It is important to stay productive but still stay in touch with your network which is why tools like Contactually are so helpful - it's one less thing to worry about.
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Why Relationships Trump Leads

Why Relationships Trump Leads | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Patrick Ewers's insight:
It's often thought that Leads are what drive success in sales-based businesses and I must say that I disagree. In my view, relationships far exceed leads in terms of significance and influence on success.
  • With leads, you rarely build a relationship on trust, which can easily cause your 'lead' to find another source from which to get the product you're selling. When you are able to build trust within that relationship, it's very unlikely that they will even want to look elsewhere. People simply like what they can trust.
  • This article will provide you with tips and practical ways to use relationships as the driving force to success.
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5 Ways LinkedIn Gets In The Way Of Networking

5 Ways LinkedIn Gets In The Way Of Networking | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
So you have 500-plus connections with people you don't really know. Is that how you build your network?
Patrick Ewers's insight:
Let's face it - many of us use LinkedIn and most of us aren't using LinkedIn in the optimal way. This article makes some good points:
  • I don't agree with the implication that LinkedIn is a form of peer pressure or somewhat of a negative thing. In my view, if you're using it in ways that benefit you and your network, there should be nothing but positive things from it (perhaps learning how to skillfully say no is another way to ensure this outlook. Learn here:http://www.mindmavin.com/blog/2012/08/06/the-art-of-saying-%E2%80%98no%E2%80%99-part-1/).
  • However, I will agree that it's easy to pile up the contacts on LinkedIn, so it's important to have other ways to manage them.
  • 'Categorizing contacts to ensure the right activity at the right frequency to maximize the mutual benefit in the relationship is essential.' I absolutely agree with this tip (this is something I would call 'rating'. Learn here: http://www.mindmavin.com/blog/2013/04/15/how-to-rate-your-network-to-get-the-most-from-it/) because it simply allows you to spend your time mostly with those contacts that have the ability to return value to you.
  • Using tools like Contactually can help manage all your connections in a very effective way.
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Personal Branding Best Practices | Social Media Today

Personal Branding Best Practices | Social Media Today | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Think of yourself as a brand, and start reaping the rewards of your networking efforts.
Patrick Ewers's insight:
Personal Branding is an important part of how people perceive you and can make all the difference in whether people trust you and your product.
  • This article helps in reinforcing the importance of having a quality personal brand including (and most importantly, in my view) the interactions you have with people.
  • Knowing up front what your 'story' or strategy is, will help you drive the experience you're aiming to deliver to the people you meet. As with everything else, a carefully thought out plan can only help.
  • I love how Mike really focuses on building relationships as an ingredient in successful personal branding. After all, people will remember more how they were treated and how they felt with you (or your company) more than the product alone.
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Powerful Band-Aid for Women to Overcome the “Likeability Bias”

Patrick Ewers's insight:
I like to address current issues and give my perspective as well as pragmatic tips on how to make the best of circumstances that are less than ideal. In this article, it talks about ways to overcome a 'likability Bias' women face in higher positions in an organization.
  • I believe that equality in the workplace is a serious and important modern issue. The most important thing is to raise the awareness and make changes to improve things.
  • As with many larger problems, it takes time for change to occur. In the meantime, I think it's important to apply certain practices that not only bring about change in a quicker manner, but allow people to build an additional skill.
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Successful Networking, Your Way

Successful Networking, Your Way | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
We all dread the over-aggressive networker, but being a wallflower is no fun either. What style of networking will work for you?
Patrick Ewers's insight:
Here is an interesting article about how to be great at networking. More importantly, it focuses on doing it in a way that is true to yourself. Since it's a part of many professionals' lives it simply is worthwhile to read the points here:
  •   Being authentic is absolutely critical. In fact, being genuine is a great way to actually enjoy networking because it allows you to be real and completely get rid of the myth that networking is about being fake.
  • It's important to know your story ahead of time and simply act on the opportunities you are presented with to tell it. I believe in making it a priority.
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How to Rate Your Network to Get the Most From It

How to Rate Your Network to Get the Most From It | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Patrick Ewers's insight:
Rating your network is one of the most powerful things you can do in terms of NRM. Here's an article that explains how to do that and why it's so valuable:
  • Realizing your relationship objective is the first step in rating your contacts. By doing this, you'll be able to determine who your 'Legends' are - people you ultimately want to spend most effort/time on.
  • We cover different approaches in doing this that anyone can do. It will likely be the edge needed to take things to the next level.
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Why Doesn’t Your Firm Get More Client Referrals? - Business 2 Community

Why Doesn’t Your Firm Get More Client Referrals? - Business 2 Community | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Patrick Ewers's insight:

This is a decent article because it picks up the topic of generating referrals from your existing network; A topic that, in my view, doesn't get talked about enough. However, I find the advice given in this article is a bit dated.

  • It talks about Newsletters and industry events, which I feel aren't the best ways to get the attention of the people with whom you have an existing relationship with.
  • You should learn how to become more pragmatic in staying top of mind with these people by sending them items they would perceive as valuable, meaningful or relevant. By doing so, you enable them to think of you when they come across a need you might want to fulfill, therefore dramatically increasing referrals you recieve out of your existing network.
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6 Small Business Time Management Tips to Increase Productivity

6 Small Business Time Management Tips to Increase Productivity | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
If you run a small business, you know there's an endless amount of work to do in limited time. Time is money - read these tips on increasing productivity.
Patrick Ewers's insight:

Although this is geared mostly towards small businesses, a lot of these tips can be applied to individuals. Here are some points that I found valuable:

  • 'In the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, experts showed that only about 2.5% of people are able to effectively multi-task and still do well at each activity.' The point on the mutli-tasking study was quite interesting to me and I definitely agree that focusing on one item at a time helps you create a more quality product.

   

  • I think using the time you spend traveling is a smart way to be efficient. I often use my travel time to dictate follow up emails or have check- in conversations with people.
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Want to Attract an Ongoing Stream of Referrals?

Want to Attract an Ongoing Stream of Referrals? | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Getting the RIGHT referral is like receiving a gift.

 

Your heart skips with gratitude for the person who thought so highly of you and your services that they went the extra mile and referr...
Patrick Ewers's insight:

I think this is a great article for those who are in a referral based business. Here's a few reasons I think you would benefit from reading this article:

  • We have a significantly larger amount of control in receiving referrals than many believe, as mentioned in this article.


  • This is where your system comes into play. Like most things in life, personal and professional, having a well thought out plan is crucial to being successful and satisfied. For example, aim to always be keenly aware of opportunities that arise and don't be afraid to take action.


  • When you're presented with the chance to get referrals, be tactful in the way you ask for referrals. I love how this article provides different scenarios in which referrals can be requested along with great ways to go about it.


  • There are also great insights on how to 'train' your referral sources to send the right people your way by telling a story about you that you would be pleased with and knowing what types of clients make sense for you.
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4 Secrets From a Master Relationship Builder

4 Secrets From a Master Relationship Builder | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
The founder of the company that brought you Solitare Deluxe reveals his strategy for building a strong network.
Patrick Ewers's insight:

Here's an amazing article about building relationships. Since I am a firm believer in quality relationships, I find the tips in this article absolutely valuable

  • I think it's wise to always look for opportunities in which you can broaden your network. Every relationship you have is an opportunity to meet someone else, and from them another - and so on. Realizing the power of relationships can really be the difference in how successful you are.
  • Diversity in your relationships offers you the chance to take your network to the next level. Therefore I agree with her tip on having relationships with different types of people. You simply are less likely to max out on connections with this practice.
  • Being persistent (in a tactful way) is just part of the territory. Since people are busy, sometimes it takes that extra follow up to get yourself in the front of their mind again. Just work on ways to do it in ways that aren't overwhelming or distasteful.
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Don't Be a Sucker for This Personal Branding Mistake

Don't Be a Sucker for This Personal Branding Mistake | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
Patrick Ewers's insight:

This unique article really sticks it to people who cut corners on creativity. I completely agree that your best ally is the ability to set yourself apart. People appreciate the effort it takes and actually tend to like you right away as a result.

  • 'Don't fake it' - this is brilliant and absolutely true. People will be able to tell if you aren't being genuine or if you're simply not putting the effort into what you're selling. The question is, do people actually buy something from a person they think isn't making the effort? Of course, the answer is no.
  • She really offers some great tips on how to make your way to being a 'Thought Leader'. My favorite concepts were, research, ask questions and simply act - or as she puts it, 'implement' (this last one is especially critical, in my opinion).
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PMA - Positive Mental Attitude - A Personal Branding Must-Have!

PMA - Positive Mental Attitude - A Personal Branding Must-Have! | Network Relationship Management | Scoop.it
If you start anything with a belief "you can't do it" ... guess what? "You won't do it!" Here's another mind blowing phenomenon - if you say you're going "to try to do it" ... you will most likely ...
Patrick Ewers's insight:

I am a firm believer in being mindful and present. I think this helps in being aware and making a choice to be happy or positive about something you normally wouldn't be thrilled about.

  • In a lot of ways, being positive sets you up in the right direction for success. After all, how many successful people do you know that didn't have a positive thing to say about anything?
  • The fact is, you need to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed before anyone else will. This article shares a unique spin on this concept that I appreciate.
  • I really like the notion of “virtuous cycles” vs. vicious cycles”.
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