Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ranking Your Referral Resources

It is sad but true -- most people actively networking for business relationships are not relationships worth developing. There, I've said it out loud. We know it and just don't say it. But I have sat in close meetings with people rating the (business) relationship qualities of others. And I do it myself because, in the bigger picture, who has time to waste on building unproductive relationships. Here are my blunt observations about differentiating "Players" from "Non-Players".
  • At receptions and mixers the Players never stand alone. They are constantly being engaged by others in conversation and stand toward the middle of small clusters.
  • Players rarely want anything... Information, leads, introductions, etc. Non-Players consistently ask for help with this or that and offer little in return.
  • Players are not just known by many, they are working with many.
  • A Player seems to be everywhere and yet remains elusive. A Non-Player can be everywhere as well but it feels like too much.
  • A conversation with a Player feels fresh and new every time. Like... a lot is happening all the time every time I talk with them. A Non-Player pretty much says the same thing over and over again.
  • Players never keep score but consistently reward good information with greater information. Non-Players run dry rather quickly.
  • Players pony-up with whatever is needed when asked (sponsorships, resources, personal effort, etc.). Non-Players are constantly looking for a deal, something free, or opportunity with little commitment.
  • Players give more than they want....
Some people rank their business relationships, A to C, or they rank them numerically. I often hear someone referred to as a "B" player which means "someone less desirable for business development." No matter your feeling on this topic it is a business truth. The smart thing to do (professionally) is to cultivate Player relationships and weed out the Non-Players.

In all, this post begs another post, "How to Become a Player". Check MC Blog out in a few days. It will be the next topic.
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