Marissa King shares the science behind the power of your network to create exponential results for your book of business. Learn about the three main network types and the strengths and benefits of each so you can understand exactly how to deepen your relationships and create more opportunities as well as why asking for help is the secret weapon of expert network professionals.
Mo asks Marissa King: How can we grow our book of business and career through networking?
- Research has shown that ⅔ of professionals, even those whose businesses depend on relationships, are actively resistant to the idea of networking.
- Our relationships are something that we hold dear, so being intentional and strategic about them seems morally off-putting for many people.
- We know that networking is certainly important and one of the best ways to overcome your initial resistance to it is to think about what you can give in an interaction instead of what you can get.
- It’s not just networking that matters, it’s your network. Understanding what your network looks like and what its current strengths are is going to be more effective than just increasing the number of people you know.
- From three decades of social science research, we know that most of the positive outcomes we care about are determined primarily by the type of network we have. We all have certain network signatures and there are three basic types.
- The first type is the Convener. These people invest a lot in maintaining existing relationships and have a few deep ties. This preference for stability comes with a lot of trust and emotional/psychological support.
- The second type is a Brokerage network. Brokers tend to straddle multiple social worlds careerwise, and talk to groups that don’t normally talk to each other. They are in the idea import/export business. Brokers have the strongest personality predictor, known as self-monitoring, which is a chameleon effect. The benefits of this type of network are innovation, creativity, and a better work/life balance.
- The third type is an Expansionist network, which is the quintessential network. Expansionists know exponentially more people than the average person and this kind of network is great for visibility, popularity, and influence.
- There is extraordinary value in your existing network, no matter what type you have. What are your current strengths and what needs do you have at the moment? Understanding that is your first step.
- The key to forming and maintaining a really effective network is in tapping to your existing network’s strengths, rather than just growing it.
- For Conveners, there is great value in reaching out to dormant connections. Those people are much more likely to provide you with new information because of the underlying trust that still remains.
- One of the best things you can learn from Brokers is focusing on where you are going rather than who you know. Spend time in a new space or learn a new hobby and by simply putting yourself in a new place you are likely to regenerate your network.
- The Expansionist ability of being able to give from one to many is a strength that anyone can take advantage of.
Mo asks Marissa King: How can high-end experts create more opportunities to close more business that feels authentic and leverages the idea of a powerful network?
- One of the most powerful things about networks is that we can use them to think about our relationships in general. You can grow your book of business by matching whatever you’re trying to sell with network thinking.
- If your product or service is hard to evaluate from the outset, one of the best things you can be is embedded in a network that can vouch for you, like a Convening network. The repeated exposure in this sort of network is critical to selling such a service.
- If your business involves either keeping people apart or putting them together, one of the key traits you need to cultivate is empathy and the perception of being empathetic. This overcomes the tendency of people to doubt your motives.
- The takeaway from Expanisionsts is to stay in touch with people in the network on a regular basis, especially if your product or service is easy to understand and purchase.
- The ability to close deals almost always boils down to trust. High-quality interactions with people in your network, no matter what kind of network it is, are how you build that trust.
- People want to help you. The power of networks is that when you put individuals together into groups you get outsized gains. By investing in your network and creating value for them, that value comes back multifold to you.
- When you don’t ask someone for help, you are denying them the ability to be helpful. By asking for help you are actually strengthening the relationship, as well as giving the other person a sense of mastery. People like people who ask for help.
Mo asks Marissa King: How can people use their networks to deepen relationships?
- Networks are relationships and the quality of those relationships is determined in the moment. Two of the biggest obstacles to deep relationships are simple distractions and not being present in the moment.
- If you’re in a meeting, turn your phone off and put it away. Simply having a phone on the table during a conversation makes it less pleasurable and it makes you look less empathetic.
- Research showed that the truth of the parable of the Good Samaritan is that how much of a hurry someone is in determines whether they stop to help. The key for everyone is to slow down and be present. Being in a hurry is the biggest roadblock to real connection.
- The most effective relationship-building super power you can have is the ability to listen. Most people believe they are great listeners but that’s not the case for the majority. Oftentimes people just need space to be seen and heard. Give them that full space and it’s amazing how quickly relationships can move forward.
- Self-disclosure and allowing people to see more hidden aspects of yourself is how you connect on a human-to-human basis. Finding uncommon commonalities is the key. If you discover that you both love to unicycle, it will lead to a much deeper connection than more surface level stuff.
- Give people more color and character. We all want to know each other as humans and that’s all part of your story.
Mo asks Marissa King: How can we hack our own habits to build the most robust networks?
- Our networks are often our most valuable asset but very few people are intentional about them.
- You don’t need to invest a lot of time into relationships to grow them, you just need to invest what time you have wisely.
- Pick one day a week and choose a 15-minute window to commit to reaching out to three people who can help meet whatever needs you have. A good place to start is the Give, Thank, or Ask framework. Send them an article or podcast you think they’d like, thank them for something they did, or ask them for something.
- People want to help you. The key is to keep the ask small and specific so it’s easy to answer. If someone doesn’t respond or says no, that’s okay too. It’s about putting yourself out there and creating the habit more than the outcome.
- Studies have shown that people overestimate how many people will say no to them by orders of magnitude. If fear is getting in the way, realize that you are more afraid than necessary.
- If you are struggling with the idea of connecting with other people, know that you are better than you think and people are more likely to say yes than you think.
Mo shares his insights from the habits of Marissa King.
- Knowing your network helps you know what to do next. The three major types of networks are Conveners, Brokers, and Expansionists and by knowing your network type, you can know what to do to take it to the next level.
- Conveners are particularly well suited for people who promote or provide an ambiguous service, for example a high stakes trial lawyer. Having a network that lets people talk about you across different disciplines can be very powerful.
- For Brokers, thinking with empathy from all sides and knowing when to bring people together is key.
- For Expansionists, the trick is to keep everyone in your network and in a way that scales.
- Relationships are formed in moments. There are times when someone comes to you when the effort you put in is exponentially more important. Helping someone in a moment like that is something that they remember forever. Moments of truth are when you really find out what kind of relationships you’ve got.
- Put your phone aside, ask followup questions, pay attention, look for uncommon commonalities.
- Being present is something that you can be in control of. Assessing how present you are on a regular basis can make the difference.
- We all have to ask for help. So many professionals are resistant to asking for help but it’s an incredible way to establish a connection and deepen a relationship. It actually helps the other person at the same time by giving them the feeling of being helpful. That feeling correlates to likeability and self-esteem. Don’t be afraid to ask, you will probably get a positive response either way.
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