How to find great network-building partners
How to achieve better results from your Discovery calls.
There is so much we could talk about!
Developing your skills to have better Discovery Calls will also help you in so many other conversations and areas of your life.
Be determined to improve gradually.
Relax! Don’t worry about ‘stuffing it up’ (there are plenty more fish in the ocean).
You are only looking for a good partners to join your team
Keep it brief
You don’t have time for a long conversation, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can connect with people (especially if you’ve selected well in the first place).
One thing that will help you keep it brief and improve your overall efficiency is using a diary booking system such as Calendly.
Calendly is easy to set up.
You can set up an event type such as “A 15-minute chat.”
This will inform your invitee that it’s going to be a quick call (even though, in practice, it may extend a bit longer).
Calendly saves you having to engage in frustrating and time-consuming communication to try and find a time you are both free (it’s so much easier to offer them your diary of available times and let them choose a time that works for them).
It’s worth Googling Calendly to see how it works.
Learn how to Connect
Many people communicate, few people connect.
Connecting is an art you’ll develop over time.
Here are a few quick tips:
When you display great energy and enthusiasm, others want to do whatever you are doing!
Ask ice-breaking relevant questions
View their LinkedIn profile and make some comments about where they live
I notice you are in Melbourne – did you manage to get to the tennis?
Ask questions that lead where you want the conversation to go
Mary, I loved your profile. Especially the part about collaboration and building business relationships. I feel very much the same way, and it is really why I suggested we meet on Zoom. Could you explain a bit more about how that’s helped you?
Questions are the answers.
The better you get at asking questions, the faster you will achieve your objectives (this also applies to most other things you do in business).
He/she who asks the questions is in control.
The different ‘phases’ of your conversation
Highlight the value of building a network with like-minded others
Ask enough questions to determine if you believe they could be a good member of your team.
If (after asking some good questions) you believe they have an interest in building their network (rather than just networking), consider taking some of the following steps
Give a brief background on yourself – be sure to speak about how network building has helped you.
Learn some key phrases that work (you’ll get better at this over time).
Highlight the value of building a network with like-minded others.
For as long as I can remember, people have emphasised the value of networking.
However, I feel we’ve actually reached a point in time where networking is no longer an optional extra; it’s really something we’ve got to become better at. Would you agree?
And since COVID, it’s much easier because people are more comfortable having zoom calls like this aren’t they?
When you think about it, the reason networking is so effective in gaining business or other opportunities is simply because
“Anyone can promote anyone but themselves”
If we attempt to sell ourselves, it’s usually very ineffective.
(Watch them nod in agreement).
On the other hand, if we have many others genuinely advocating for us, we solve some of the biggest problems we all typically have. For example, winning high-quality business with minimal effort and cost.
The real problem is that no one has taught us how to build a relationship-based network of like-minded others.
The networking that has been available to date has often been transactional rather than relationship-based. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the transactional approach if you are up for it.
However, I’m much more interested in learning how to build an advocating network based on trusted relationships – how about you?
I’m looking for people who believe in building relationships and trust through advocacy.
That’s why I and a few others have put together a great group of people who want to engage in relationship-based network building rather than transactional networking.
Looking at your profile and from our conversation so far, it seems you also see the value in building your relationship-based network of others who will actually advocate for you; as well as you for them.
Suggest attending a CC introductory Session
If your candidate seems to be excited about building a relationship-based network, suggest that they attend an introduction to the Connect Collaborative to learn some more about how we build our networks.
You don’t need to go into a lot more depth during your Discovery call as that will be handled by the CC Intro facilitator.
Be prepared for questions.
In the end, there are just a few commonly asked questions.
This means it’s easy for you to learn how to handle them!
However, don’t feel the need to cover all possible questions in advance!
If they don’t ask you any questions, they may be keen to attend a CC intro session, knowing that it will probably answer most of their questions.
That’s why it’s good to let them know about our intro sessions reasonably early in the conversation.
What sort of time commitment would I be looking at?
“Well, that’s actually great news!
All our network-building is via Zoom meetings like this. So, you don’t have to travel to meetings, and our meetings tend to be shorter and more focused.
Typically this will save you somewhere between 1 and 3 hours per week.
Perhaps even more importantly, it gives you national and international reach.
It’s up to you how much time you invest.
In the beginning, we realise most people will need to make some adjustments.
However, as we all know, we only benefit if we consistently contribute.
It really comes down to how important you feel it is to be building an advocating network in advance of when you need it.
Is there a cost?
Actually, there is good news on the cost front as well.
First, in my experience, the value proposition is excellent. It’s only $85 per month.
Second, your first month is free.
Third, unlike most networking models, there is no upfront commitment – you don’t have to pay a year’s fees in advance – you pay as you go.
(If the small amount of our subscription is a barrier to them checking it out further, then this may be a sign that they may not be who you are looking for).
Another question your candidate may ask is: I already have a great network – what is the point of expanding it further?
In this case, a good question you could ask is: “How much does your existing network pro-actively advocate for you”?
Let’s say your candidate answers this by saying: “Not a great deal, but I know that if I asked, they’d do anything for me”.
You could then reply:
Do you really want to have to keep asking?
Wouldn’t it be better if you built your network in a culture that continually reinforces the value of proactive advocacy?
Make use of the resources provided by the CC.
When it comes to interacting with others, there is so much we can learn.
We hear a lot about the value of people skills and self-development.
And it’s true!
It’s so worth continually learning more about such things; it makes all the difference!
Consider role-playing with your Connector or someone they recommend.
The more Discovery Calls you do, the better you’ll get
Initially, you may feel nervous and that you didn’t ‘flow’ very well.
Don’t worry – you’ll get better with consistent practice.