For years I have been a fan of networking, I like to think I have a rather large network of professionals in many different aspects of business and knowledge that I can converse with to acquire answers, opinions, ideas and clients. Networking is the human mind and body in marketing mode, always changing, adapting and growing with each new contact. The amazing part of networking is that you never know who you will meet and what or who they know. In business we all solve a problem that someone has and many of many of us solve very unique or niche problems for clients. This is what makes us so adaptable to “Networking with the enemy”.
As a practitioner I network with other practitioners in and out of the same field I practice. This is where I hear from others, stating “you should never network or share business info with someone that practices in your same field”, especially in the same geographical area that you practice. That’s like “networking with the enemy”. “You are losing business by doing this”. I personally do not believe in these fears or statements. The problems that you solve for clients go much deeper than a cookie cutter practice and knowledge gained from likeminded people is so very valuable. They understand your business, they have made the same mistakes, overcome the same obstacles and have a world of info to share that is a benefit to your business. The greatest importance of this is, knowledge and client acquisition. So many practitioners offer so many types of services and there are also many services that they do not. The big picture here is to network with everyone you can and feel comfortable with them completely. This is how we learn and grow within our business.
In my history I have only lost one client to another practitioner since 2009 with networking in this manner. This client admittedly was not a great fit for my services and I was happy to have introduced them to another practitioner. The end result was I avoided conflict with a client and still helped the client overall. I have gained so many more clients in return by this very same method of networking. With consistent sharing and networking with like practitioners we all improve the world as a whole and almost always have an answer to a business problem. The plain and simple fact is, if I cannot service a client fully I will pass this client along to someone I know and trust and the same works in reverse. The more you network with the so named “enemy”, the more knowledgeable and powerful you become as a resource to your clients.
There is no such thing as “networking with the enemy”!
1| Network with all types of people, even those who provide the same services.
2| Know these people well and build a trust.
3| Share knowledge and experience
4| Be confident in the knowledge and service that you provide.
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