The Power of Quality Networking
I have been a member of N4B since it started 17 years ago and because of what I do, I regard the network as a vital way of keeping me supplied with stimulating ideas on how to improve my business rather than a major pipeline for sales leads. Most referrals I receive tend to come from people with direct industry connections rather than from those who work outside of it, so I was surprised when Laurence Duncan of Action Coach approached me and said that one of his clients might need my help.
Laurence was looking for a way to provide his client with a viable exit plan from a long-established business. The main sticking point was that the client carried most of the manufacturing plans in his head, so clearly, he could not leave the business without passing this knowledge over to a safe pair of hands. An additional problem was that the designers the client used were slow, inaccurate, only worked in 2D and were not much interested in the commercial implications of what they did.
It took a number of months of networking before Laurence trusted me enough to introduce me to his client. This isn’t because I appear shifty, but rather that developing enough trust to make quality referrals to your important clients takes time. Now, thanks to Laurence’s focused approach, we have a plan in place with agreed timescales and everyone is working towards a smooth handover.
We were able meet the needs of our new client perfectly. Firstly, we guarantee to more than half the cost and time required to provide vital manufacturing information. And secondly, our use of 3D CAD reduces errors and allows the production team to interpret drawings without the need for years of experience, saving even more time and therefore greatly boosting the company’s profits.
Although I really did not anticipate a referral from a business coach and would never have looked at his client’s company and thought, “I can help them”, high-quality networking brought together two companies that will have a long and mutually beneficial relationship, while the owner gets to cruise the world.
So, who do you know and more importantly, who do they know?