Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The power of leverage in business networking

One dictionary definition of leverage is "the mechanical advantage or power gained by using a lever". To illustrate the idea I remember using a small lever in a school physics lesson to easily move a large rock.

In business networking you can use the equivalent when a trusted contact of yours has influence with someone in your target market with a problem that you can solve. This can be a great way to get in front of much larger organisation than yours. If you build a relationship with someone that regularly deals with these larger businesses then you can use your relationship as the lever for the introduction.

Let me share a story. A few years ago I was running a business where one of our largest suppliers was one of the big mobile phone operators. We got to know some people there and found that we could help with a problem they had. They had insufficient resources to deal with many of the requests they got regarding potential new applications. We offered to help with some of these. Later on they advocated our services as a 'must have' to a couple of large media companies which led to some very lucrative contracts.

We would never have been able to even speak to these media companies without the leverage that was created by someone within another large business introducing us. That leverage was possible as a result of the help we first provided in building the relationship first.

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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