When I did the book tour for my New York Times bestseller Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman, I spoke to so many business and networking groups (large and small) that I lost count. I signed a lot of books and ate a lot of bad meals that I don’t remember, but one memory still stands out today. I still remember vividly how many of those business groups were ineffective. Networking, is all so frequently, NOT working.
Why? Network with the wrong people and you could find yourself taking advice from people who mean well, but are not qualified to give it. Join the wrong business group and you find yourself having breakfast or lunch with the same people and same results month-after-month, and no legal nurse consulting job to show for it.
Groucho Marx famously said, “I wouldn’t belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.” When you’re looking to cast your networking net, do it selectively and invest in networking with power players. People like us don’t get to be people like them by hanging out solely with people like us.
Certified Legal Nurse Consultants won’t find power players at your typical breakfast club meeting or in a general business group. Power players hang with other power players and they depend on each other for everything from information to referrals. They have their own private club and that’s the club you want to join – not the one that will have you (at least as you are now). Once you gain entrance expect to give more than you’ll get, at first.
I have a good friend in the litigation support business who is in a network with some of the most powerful plaintiff attorneys in Los Angeles. He’s an indispensable member of their club, attends their events, consults on their cases and buys ads in legal publications to congratulate them when they win big cases. But he didn’t become such a valued member in such a competitive market just by passing out business cards and eating bad chicken dinners.
He’s attended depositions, trials, legal conferences, birthday parties, weddings, funerals and fundraisers. He has turned attorney-clients into friends and today he reaps the benefits of years of hard schmoozing, hard work and above all – knowing and understanding that power players network with other power players. Because he plays big, he wins big, receiving powerful referrals from some of the most powerful attorneys in Los Angeles.
Likewise, I’ve networked with one particular power player for four years, never once asking for anything beyond our business relationship. I gave a lot more than I received, until recently when he gave me something bigger than I could have (or would have) ever asked for. Always ask first what you can give. You might find yourself ecstatic at what you get in return.
The true power of networking for lucrative legal nurse consulting jobs comes in the strength of the relationships you build, not just showing up at an event and asking people for a business card, favor or referral to an attorney. When you play big, you win big. Go big or go home.
I’m Just Sayin’
P.S. Comment and share how you’ve effectively networked with power players.