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Fire up your referral marketing plan

Connections don’t build anything.

An interesting article clearly using the literary device to get more readers and to cause thought and conversation. Please read the article first. If you think that I have a few opinions on the subject, you would be right. Most of my opinions aren’t agreeing with the author.

Let’s start with the title. Please point out anything at all in our world that is built without connections. Try as you might, this impressive building in Dubai would not stand without strong internal connections. I would say that without connections you can’t build anything! 

Now, I certainly don’t want to get ahead of myself, there is one quote the author makes that agree with 100%.

“Connections are great. But they’re worthless without certain prerequisites in the skill department.”

If you have read any of our articles about being referable, we have always been clear, you have to be good at what you do, though skill is never an indicator of success in life or in business. Skill, knowledge, the ability to do or produce is simply the prerequisite to get into the game. In fact, I found it interesting in Malcom Gladwell’s book The Outliers that if you were “smart enough” extra intelligence really has no noticeable impact on your success. I personally have known many, many smart productive people that don’t reach success for many reasons, but they all had impressive skill sets and knowledge. In many cases, the difference between success and failure was in fact who they knew.

It is impossible for any one person to know everything.

Many of you have read the Referral Fires dealing with teamwork. In fact, it is one of the most popular articles I have written. Do you want to be a “Lone Wolf” or “part of a pack”?  Clearly, we can produce more, move faster and be more successful when working together as part of a team. Where do these teams come from if not from connections? We build our teams from people that we know, people that we meet.

The author’s rebuttal to this idea uses the example of an open source program or application development. This actually made me lol. Once the app is released and someone notices it, it builds a community…what is this community? a set of connections, a network, that then congeals into a team. So, it appears that networking in this environment would be considered extremely desirable.

The facts are: 1. networking comes in all shapes and sizes 2. connecting with others is certainly important for success 3. much of the time spent by businesses networking incorrectly is absolutely wasted 4. networking like anything else is a skill set and it is important to learn how to network correctly to keep from wasting time 5. networking is used for many different purposes (each purpose/individual combination would result in a different networking strategy and approach).

I simply want to close by saying, “Don’t go out there and waste your time, learn how to network to ensure your success in the endeavor.”

Good Luck and Good Networking!

Rich Martin