By Charmaine Hammond, MA, BA, CSP
What you know is just as important as who you know.
You have heard the old adage “it’s not what you know it’s who you know” and while it has some truth to it, I have also learned after 21 years in business, “what you know” matters. People hire experts – professionals who are skilled and have a specific set of expertise. The business may come your way or find you because of who you know (e.g. through referrals, good gossip and introductions) however, it is your skills and expertise that make it easier for people to say “yes”.
Do your connections and champions have a solid understanding of what you do, who you serve and your credentials, skills or expertise? When they do, it makes the referrals and introductions they make for you all the more powerful (and more helpful to the person receiving the introduction to you).
Here are a few ways to build the “who and what you know” strategy into your business.
1) Create several versions of a pre-written introduction you can provide to people when they are referring or connecting you to potential clients, media, etc.. The person can personalize the introduction they send for you but you want to ensure your introduction highlights the expertise. Make it easy for people to be a champion and connector for you.
Here’s an example I wrote to show the difference. Imagine I am sending this introduction to a colleague I know that I think would be a perfect fit for one of Pamela’s events or to be a client for Pamela.
Please meet the incredible Pamela Chatry. She hosts exquisite events and works with Entrepreneurs to grow and scale their business.
That sounds okay, it “bigs” Pamela up a bit, but doesn’t really give the person who will be reading the introduction email (and has never met Pamela) get a sense of her expertise and why I am connecting them.
Or how about this one:
Please meet the incredible Pamela Chatry, respected business strategist and advisor, and trusted colleague of mine. Not only does Pamela host exquisite events to connect Entrepreneurs and businesses but her events provide the attendees with essential information to grow and scale their businesses. Pamela has also successfully coached many entrepreneurs/business owners through her proven step by step business advisory process, masterminds, events and round tables. I am connecting you both as you mentioned you were looking for support to take your business to the next level, and from what I know (and continue hearing through Pamela’s client testimonials), I think you and Pamela having a call together might be a great way to start.
Watch for Part 2 of this blog to learn the other 2 steps to increasing your business through Connections, Collaboration and Collectives.