I was working with a client recently on her networking plan. This plan includes contacting quality professionals in related fields. As we were creating her next action steps in the plan, she mentioned that she was feeling nervous about reaching out to people in a particular profession. She knows people in this profession would be great referral partners for her. When she dug in to what she was afraid of, she talked about how knowledgeable these folks are, that they are like “superheroes” in all that they know how to do. She felt inferior and intimidated because she doesn’t have their skill set. I then reminded her that she has superpowers too, and that to these professionals, she is a superhero. Their alliance will be like the super friends.
Each person in your referral network has a particular strength and you all need each other. Your clients will need referrals to all of you.
This woman tends to forget what is unique, valuable or special about her work. Through our work together she is gaining the ability to identify and articulate this superpower. She is amazing at what she does. She’s got incredible skills as well as a unique point of view.
I always advise people to approach networking as building a long-term relationship. Your focus should always be more on learning about the other person than selling yourself. When you step into that conversation while you are aware of your unique super power, you will stay grounded and able to connect from a place of strength and openness.