In thinking about my Big, Simple Life book (I’m hoping to invest some writing time in it this month before the back-to-school craziness begins!), I realized I don’t talk enough about finding power partners and cohorts yet how critical it is to the big, simple life concept. I meet people all the time who confess to being “terrible at networking” but it’s definitely something you can learn. To be more influential, you have to expand your circle of influence.
First of all, what are power partners?
Power partners can be
- businesses in the same business category as you
- compatible or complementary businesses you can refer to and can refer people to you
- people or businesses who also serve your clientele
Referrals mean you tell someone “Here’s a service or person you need.” They say their roof is leaking so you point them toward a roofer. They are having back pain so you tell them about your chiropractor. Your goal should be to have people who faithfully refer people to you as well. Ideally referrals would pass back and forth regularly.
For example, if you’re an author, a power partner would be
- other authors (you can learn from each other and share resources and connections)
- book stores (they often know authors and host events for writers)
- anyone within the realm of your subject matter
This definition is also apt:
Power Partners are business professionals who are in the same “industry” as you, who want to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. The purpose and focus of the business relationship is each partner striving to share referrals, ideas, clients and information. (From Team Referral Network)
Finding power partners
Power partners can have a very similar business to yours or simply serve the same people you serve. Think about those in a complementary business. Like if you’re a carpet cleaner, a home painter is a great power partner because they’re in homes all the time and will hear of people in need of painting. If you own a boutique then salons, shoe stores and makeup artists make terrific power partners because you all service women with similar goals and needs. A woman comes into a salon to get her hair done and mentions she feels so good but doesn’t have any clothes she loves…so the stylist sends her to her boutique power partner.
It’s people you can join forces with. We are better together.
No one is you competition but everyone is a potential power partner.
Even people who run the same circles as your people (they’re stay-at-home moms, they’re interested in natural health, they’re caregivers to kids with special needs…) make great power partners. People love to share they’re favorites.
I have several friends who do work similar to mine but we all have different focuses and strengths and serve different parts of town. One focuses on bargain shopping. One does more personal shopping and talks a lot about sustainable fashion. I can easily refer to them and they can refer people to me for color analysis or for a workshop they don’t offer.
Networking is all about being on the lookout for people you can help and people who can help you. It’s not just people who can refer to you…it’s people who service the people you want to do business with. That can be practically anyone! You should go about your business thinking everyone you meet is a potential power partner.
I hope this worksheet download helps you think through the possibilities. For more personalized help, contact me for a strategy session.
(download coming soon)