What is Network Relationship Management (NRM) in one sentence: “Receiving more business opportunities (for most, that’s revenue) by increasing the mindshare you have with people who know you.”
Why is NRM one of the best investments you can make in growing your business?
80% or more of new business gets generated through people you know.
This business comes to you, typically, in the form of referrals.
“Most of my new business comes to me in the form of referrals. Often these opportunities are of higher quality and are either pre-sold or pre-qualified.”
When optimizing sales and marketing efforts, it makes sense to focus on those aspects where the greatest benefit can be gained. It is logical to optimize the most important “Leadsource” first, with the goal of achieving more quantity at higher quality while improving overall efficiencies.
“I believe I have not optimized my potential for getting referrals from my network.”
If true, then getting new business is about increasing mindshare among people who know you. Why? Because referrals are driven by two factors: a) the right timing, and b) the ability of people in our network to connect relevant opportunities with us. Timing is something we cannot control, but we do know that real opportunities constantly arise within the range of our professional network, unfortunately most of them stay unknown to us.
“I believe that there are many opportunities arising in my network that I never become aware of.”
This defines the core reason why we network: to increasingly become aware of opportunities that are relevant to us. While timing is out of our hands, we very much have control over the mindshare we enjoy among people who know us. The rule is based on common sense and basic logic: the higher our mindshare, the more likely it is that people will connect opportunities with us.
“I hear about opportunities from people for whom I have been top of mind.”
Now, if we believe these hypotheses to be true, then the question is how do we manage mindshare? How do we become top of mind? Here it is important to look at what actually drives mindshare. Again, the answer is surprisingly simplistic: the only way we can increase mindshare is through interaction. Interaction again can be split up in two aspects. One is frequency, or the amount of time that we interact with a member of our professional network (within a given timeframe), the other is the experience we have when we are interacting.
“Those times when I have focused on providing value and relevance to a network member have almost always resulted in a deepening of that relationship.”
Frequency is pretty straightforward. It’s about making sure we interact enough with the people who matter most. In today’s world, it is our primary tool to battle the “Decay of Mindshare“.
The true potential lies within experience impact. Here the opportunity is vast if one focuses on providing value with every interaction delivered. The higher the experience impact, the more memorable the interaction, the higher the mindshare.
“If I haven’t been in touch with people for long periods of time, they seem to forget about me and the work I do. Although we have a good relationship, people tend to forget when it matters.”
Strong experience impact also has a very positive influence on the decay of mindshare. The higher the mindshare is, the more opportunities we become aware of. This usually translates directly into more revenue for you and your company. To us, that’s the reason why we are networking.
So far so good. Everything up to now has probably made a lot of sense. Many of us have already done these things intuitively. So aside from these revelations, where else do we gain a benefit? The answer is in turning this more ad-hoc approach into a programized methodology.
If you were to do all of those things that have worked well for you in the past in such a manner that they occurred regularly, reliably and consistently, then you would indeed gain significant increases in success.
This is what NRM is all about. Taking common sense concepts that you know to be true, and converting them into an approach that you can rely on, measure and effectively manage.
If you feel you agreed with most of the Confirmation Points above, and these thoughts resonated with you, we urge you to contact us. The investment in this phone call will most likely be one of the best ones you have made in recent history.