Expert Advice On Business Networking And Tips On Developing Your Networking Skills

Ted Wood Interview – Executive Consultant

Ted Wood is a Certified Professional Behavior Analyst. He regularly works as an Executive Consultant to top companies including Coldwell Banker, ERA National, Franklin Covey and Larry H. Miller Automotive Group. You can visit him at the Sales Development Center.

Josh: How do you define Business Networking? And why do you feel it’s important?

Ted Wood: Business Networking isn’t important, it is imperative! I have had my share of major clients as a business consultant. But, Josh I never got a single major client where I wasn’t referred in by someone they trusted.

Even when you have relationships inside the company you are trying to sell, the most important person in the beginning stage of the relationship is your internal advocate. Hence you network to get into the company and you network to stay.

If we define business networking as parlaying one relationship into another profitable relationship, networking’s value becomes clearer.

Here is an example: Most of us have heard of the movie “Good Fellows.” Because this was a mafia movie the money people wanted Robert DeNiro to play a key role in the movie. They knew he would sell tickets for them. Robert recommended that they cast his friend Joe Peschi for a particular part in the movie. Joe was presold by the big star Robert DeNiro. But, here’s the kicker. Joe not only got the part but convinced them to give his mother a part as well. With the big money they pay actors, you would have to call that Business Networking.

Josh: Ted, can you share some examples of how business networking has helped you in your professional life.

Ted Wood: Thank you Josh and first off you are helping me right now by allowing me to present myself to your friends and readers. You would have to call that business networking.

One day a friend of mine asked me if I would go with him to a company he was trying to sell his Advertising Agency services to and bear my testimony of him to the Marketing Director. This I did gladly. My friend began to do business there and do it well. Every time I went to a show I chatted for a few minutes with this VIP Marketing Director I had referred my friend to.

A year or two later I saw something I could do for this company and called my new friend, the Marketing Director. He introduced me to the Vice President who hired me as a consultant. They paid me from 5 to 6 thousand dollars a month for about 5 years to help them with their networking and networked me in by referral to several more clients who paid me that much or more.

Josh: Can you share an idea that helps people improve their networking skills?

Ted Wood: Yes, Josh the number one recommendation I would make is that they take a lesson from what you do on your websites and be willing to share. Always offer well thought out content in all your relationships.

As a CPBA, Certified Professional Behavior Analyst, I can tell you that most people separate into one of two categories. Either they are task oriented to the point that it is difficult for them develop networking relationships with people. Or they are so people oriented in an unfocused way that the relationships they develop don’t get them the referrals they seek. In order to succeed we must Network with people who both care about us and recognize our competence.

Let’s go back to Joe Peschi. There is a scene in Good Fellows where Joe’s character, goes to his mother’s house with two of his friends and his mother serves them some spaghetti. Now Joe’s real mother is no famous actress, but you would think she could play that part of his mother serving him and his friends spaghetti. So recommending his real mother for the part was not a tough sale for Joe. As you would expect Joe’s real mother played the part of his movie mother quite well. And Joe played his part well vindicating Robert DeNiro.

So my advice would be to know who you are and what you can do and Network up some relationships that will allow you to do some business while you make some lasting friendships.

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