NetWeaving in a Nutshell

By Bob Littell, Chief NetWeaver
chiefneteweaver@gmail.com www.netweaving.com phone: 404/842-0001

The One Line Description: – “NetWeaving is a Golden Rule and Pay It Forward form of networking” which is all about creating meaningful relationships first. . .by helping others, simply with the belief that, “What goes around, does come back around”.

NetWeaving reverses the more traditional mindset of networking which focuses on “Can you help me?” or if in a sales context: “Are you a prospect for whatever it is that I have to offer?” Instead NetWeaving helps people learn to listen with a 2nd pair of ears and to be tuned in with a 2nd set of antennae, to be alert to the answers of three questions:

  1. “Who do I know who would benefit meeting this person?”
  2. “Could this person provide information or resources – no-string-attached – to someone else I know?”
  3. “Has this person already impressed me so much that I need to get to know him or her better, and if over time – the quality of their work; their sense of urgency and follow up is exceptional, I need to make him or her part of my ‘Trusted Resource Network’ “.

NetWeaving is NOT an attack on traditional networking. To be successful in life and in business, you have to do both. Looking out for: your own; your family’s; your company’s best interests is ‘natural’ and ‘instinctive’.

But in the long-run, we maintain and have the case studies and testimonials to prove it, the results from your NetWeaving efforts will greatly exceed those of your more self-centered networking ones.

The Two Major Weaknesses of Traditional Networking

Superficiality – Since people are primarily focused on their own or their company’s interests, networking dialogues tend to be short ‘qualifying’ conversations – often with the ritual business card handout as a good way to terminate the conversation and move on to the next potential prospect.

Lack of Followup and Follow Through – The second weakness of traditional networking is a lack of followup and follow through. Followup is a ‘time-related’ concept meaning that people wait too long to re-connect with someone they met. Follow through pertains to the QUALITY and the CREATIVITY with which people follow up so it becomes the WOW factor. “Wow, no one has ever followed up with me before like you just did!”

The Three Skill Sets of NetWeaving

  1. learning how to become a better ‘connector’ OF others – with their Needs, Problems, and Opportunities in mind rather than just your own.
  2. Learning how to ‘position’ yourself as a no-strings-attached ‘resource-provider’ FOR others so you build the reputation for being the ‘go-to’ person – even when it has nothing to do with your own field of expertise.
  3. Learning how to constantly be on the lookout for persons who are ‘best of breed’ at whatever it is they do, and then find a way to HELP THEM as a way of making the connection, and eventually to make them part of your “Trusted Resource Network”.

Building Meaningful Relationships

Another fallacy of traditional ‘what’s in it for me?’ networking is that you’re going to meet someone for the first time at a typical networking meeting, function, convention, or event and immediately volunteer to introduce them to some good-contact person whom you know.

Being referred by someone to a person he or she knows is the strongest form of advocacy and since there’s ‘risk’ involved on the part of the person making the referral, there first has to be genuine trust established.

NetWeaving helps ‘fast-trac’ the process by which persons go from. . . meeting someone for the first time. . .to where trust is established and maintained. The key element in this process involves learning how to ‘inspire meaningful dialogue’ and ‘enriching the experience’.

Meaningful dialogue is defined as any conversation in which people experience ‘learning and growth’ and where the conversation is ‘enriched’ with persons opening up in ways you would not see in ordinary conversations.

The Heart of NetWeaving – The first book on NetWeaving – “Power NetWeaving” covered the skill sets and told stories of persons in financial services who had built their practices NetWeaving – just without a word for it. The book, “The Heart and Art of NetWeaving” (self-published so 100% of $20 goes to charity) summarized those skills again, but went on to explain the ‘heart’ of NetWeaving which is learning the skill sets is only the beginning. Learning how to become an outspoken advocate of the concept – since it’s all Golden Rule – elevates your image in other’s eyes. . .and if you sincerely enjoy helping others, it ENERGIZES you and makes you better at everything you do.

The Five-Step Process – At any networking event, receptions, meeting, etc., it’s fine to still collect a handful of business cards, but narrow it down to only 1 or 2 persons who impressed you the most. Make notes on the back of his or business card about what you discussed – very important; send an email that night or next day mentioning a couple of those points you discussed and suggest having a followup meeting; 2) call to set up that followup ‘one-on-one’ meeting within the next 2 weeks; 3) at the one-on-one meeting, now that you’ve gotten to listen with that 2nd pair of ears and the 2nd set of antennae, you volunteer to ‘host’ a meeting to introduce them to someone whom you believe they would benefit meeting; They will most often reciprocate and volunteer to do the same for you ; 5) At the end of almost every hosting meeting which you set up, one or both of the persons you have connected, will look at you and ask “How can we help you?” Instead of suggesting something self-serving, surprise them and challenge them to “Pay It Forward” and to just agree to host a meeting for two other persons or to introduce their new-found friend to someone he or she would benefit meeting.

Is Your NetWeaving Not Working for You?

The “NetWeaver’s Law of Referral Reciprocity” is 100% reliable – “The more you refer OTHERS. . . the more you will be referred”.
But there are several conditions which MUST be met in order to guarantee that your NetWeaving will come back around to benefit you and if you violate ANY of these conditions, it doesn’t work.

Go to www.netweaving.com and take the quick NetWeaver Skills Aptitude Assessment to see how you score as a NetWeaver and if you’ve started adopting NetWeaving and it isn’t working as you’d hoped, it may also help you discover some reasons why your NetWeaving is not coming back around.

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