Sunday, August 15, 2010

10 ways to make sure you do NOT monetize your network.

A popular saying: Your network is your net worth.

This is why so many marketing advisors counsel on how to build a network. Some even teach you how to monetize it, which is the hard part (and why so many advisors focus only on the first, easier half.)

But I have yet to see anyone explain how to make sure you do NOT monetize your network. And yet so many people are accidental experts at this.

After studying some of the best (whose names will never be mentioned), I figured it'd be a good time to list out their top ten "skills."

1) Ignore other people's knowledge of the person you are meeting. Just because they know a lot about this person and why they might be valuable to you, they're not worth the 5-10 minutes to learn any of this.
2) Make sure not to thank referrers. Or even let them know you met their referral. Why should they need to know you actually met? Best to leave them guessing. And why should they care if it went well or was a near miss? So they can better tailor their next referral? Pah! Who needs that type of precision?
3) Broken funnel? Keep pouring them in! Your network is like a meat grinder. The more meat you jam into it the better. Never look at what comes out the other side. Ick. Right?
4) The latest networking tools are always the best. Networking is a technology race. Linked In? Maxed that one at 500. Twitter? That's so 2009. Foursquare? Been there, mayored that. Groupon? Time to move on. Whoever gets there first wins, right? If your network can't keep up, that's their problem.
5) Everything you do is noteworthy. Had lunch at a nice place? Tweet it! Tired of the heat? Post it on LinkedIn. Saw some funny shoes? Send out a link to the pic. They voted Jose off SYTYCD and he was your fave? Everyone needs to know. They hang on your every word.
6) LOL typos. OMG. poeple r to anal about typoos. Its 2010 and proofngg is 4 people with to much time. They kno u r busy and cant stop to proof your posts. They know if you they refer you business, youll b moar carful
7) The busier the better. Make sure you let people know how busy you are and how impossible it is to reach you. Busy = success. Simple fact.
8) Measure by number.* The more people in your network the better. The more retweets and pageviews, the higher your score. Breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings? You still have time for a couple coffees. Pipelines and relationship maps are for people with small networks, not for networking pros like you. And make sure you let everyone know, at every chance, how many others have fallen into your net.
9) Networking is a one-way street. ...and you are the princess in the castle at the end of the cul-de-sac. In fact, you take this to the next level. You make sure they know that you do not actually read anything they post. "If you want to reach me, send me an e-mail. I do not have time to read tweets." (Actual tweet.) Networking is not a conversation; it's a lecture. From you (the expert) to them (the fawning pupil who basks in the glory of being connected to you.)
10) Networking is synonymous to selling. You are the master of turning every coffee into a proposal meeting. Every breakfast into a presentation. They've finished their food and you haven't yet taken a bite. That's proof you are putting the time to better use. Now, mouth full, time to go for the close. You rock.

OK, I stopped at 10. I'm sure you can add more.

*I have to be serious for a minute. There are so many tools that measure the reach of your networking efforts, but so few that measure the impact in terms of revenue. If you provide professional services or work at a small company, you can (and should) do this by hand. If you work at a large company, take a random sampling. List out the networking platforms used by your clients (those that pay you actual money) and successful referral sources (those that connected you to people who pay you actual money). Then put a check mark if you can prove that they used this to become clients (or learn about additional product/service offerings) or successfully refer you to someone who became a client. More simply put: Make a list of networking efforts that your current targets are also using. When I did this for myself and for a couple other people, the results were decisive. In short: Keep panning where you are finding gold.