Advocacy is more powerful than mere referral
It is the Active support of an idea

What do we mean by ‘advocacy’?

When you know, like and trust someone and you are having a conversation with another person in business who raises a problem they would desperately like to solve and you say something like:

“I can’t believe you just said that! I know someone who specialises in solving exactly that problem.

From my experience with them, it would be great for you to have a quick chat with them to gain their thoughts on your issue.

Also, I know they are very happy to help people who may not be ready to proceed just yet.

As you might expect, they always have a great deal of work on but if you like I can have a chat and see how they are placed. “

When they say ‘yes’ (they’d like to meet with the person you are advocating for), you then contact the person you are advocating for and then get back to the person who may be able to use their services.

You proactively work to arrange the meeting (even though you have no immediate direct benefit).

Why does Advocacy work so well?

  • Because you are not selling yourself!
  • Instead, you are enthusiastically promoting someone else.
  • And as we all know only too well:
    • Anyone can promote anyone except themselves!
  • When you genuinely trust that someone you have come to know can be of invaluable help to someone else, it is very easy to get excited about ‘going the extra mile’ to advocate for them
  • The payback for you putting in this effort is that you build enormous trust with the person you are advocating for and
    • The law of reciprocity says they will advocate for you
      • And often they reciprocate in a much bigger way than you could have possibly imagined!

You can only genuinely be excited about advocating for someone you like and trust

What is trust and how is it built?

When someone in business is considering a potential business partner, employee, supplier, consultant or customer, what do they most want to know about the candidates before them?

  • Do they have integrity (will they do what they say they are going to)?
  • Are they consistent?
  • Are they good team players?
  • Are they prepared to ‘go the extra mile’?
  • Are they loyal?
  • What is their emotional intelligence like?
  • Do they have initiative and creativity?
  • Do they have leadership potential?
  • Do they have aligned values?

Many people “talk a good game” at the interview but turn out to be quite disappointing 6 months down the track.

When you are helping someone to build their network, over a period of time, you will come to know the answers to the above all-important questions.

As time goes on you begin to like and trust certain people because they continually demonstrate the right attributes to you.

You are going to be genuinely excited about promoting such people to others in business because you know they will do their best to perform (short and long term) – just as they have demonstrated when building their network with you.

So, in effect, when you advocate for someone you are doing 2 people a great favour

  • The person you are advocating for
  • The person you are advocating them to