Because I help my clients with their talent sourcing and placement, great folks in my network periodically ask me to keep them in mind should I hear about a relevant job opening, and make a referral if I happen to see a fit. One of my dear friends, also well-connected in the business community, is approached even more frequently.
My friend’s response to the same request is more pointed, and ultimately more helpful to both them and the requestor: “Give me a list of companies that interest you, and then I’ll let you know if I know anyone at those companies,” is their mantra response. My friend, like me, is naturally wired with sales / recruiting DNA.
Your network connectors can potentially do some good work for you; and the results are even better when you make it as easy as possible for your connectors by taking a few key proactive steps. Whether you’re looking for your next job or your next sales prospect:
- Make and share your list of target companies with your network connectors;
- Also let your network know what your success profile is (ideal prospective client or prospective employer), in the spirit of doing the majority of the thinking work for these connectors;
- Finally: let them know what your value proposition is: how you will solve your prospect(s)’ pain points, which will not only reflect well on you, but especially on your network connector, as they’re putting their reputation on the line to support your success with their important network contacts.
Armed with that key information, your network connectors can then potentially provide contacts at your target companies which will be warm calls. Their response / results (your connectors and their respective contacts) are never guaranteed: however, if you do the majority of the legwork for your connectors, you will definitely increase the likelihood of meaningful, actual referrals.
And most importantly of all: have you made meaningful referrals to your network connectors first, walking the talk of your subsequent referral request(s)?
How will you make your target company list and check it twice to best communicate your prospect success profile and value proposition, supporting the overall success of you and your network in business and at work?