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Building Community Through Better Relationships

I KNOW A GUY – 3 Easy Steps to Creating Value

The planning for a major association conference is approaching a critical deadline!  During the organization’s executive committee meeting, ideas bounce around for speakers for the upcoming event. The objective is to be innovative, educational, and value-adding!  While brainstorming among potential speakers and topics, the vice-president shouts out, “I KNOW A GUY!”

As a group of professionals, everyone on the committee knows people.  But something special happens when you know a GUY.  Not just any guy, but a game-changing expert regardless of gender who generates value.  Value is created through relationships, credibility and actionable ideas.  Networking alone does not complete the assignment, win the proposal, or motivate an audience.  Value emerges from the credibility of the referrer and the execution by the target. The objective is to achieve results because of the relationship, not just drop names.  Consequently, knowing a GUY only achieves the objective when three criteria are met.

1. Referrals
Referrals are the foundation of networking. Successful professionals foster relationships that demonstrate their influence.  The number of people in a network may be large or small depending on who is measuring.  However, it is the influence that the network can demonstrate that matters.  When you know a GUY, who is part of your network and their presence at an event instantly adds value, then you have the right individual. Beyond position, wealth or celebrity, does the contact raise the experience level of those around him or her?  A yes answer means you have the right GUY.

2. Credibility
An essential element of elevating an event’s profile is that the GUY has a following who believes that she will deliver.  In a best case scenario, the GUY will contribute their proven expertise and challenge the participants with innovative insight and additional knowledge.  Maximizing credibility requires more than passing on pre-packaged information, but rather facilitating new ideas for the group’s benefit.  The participants must believe that individual or organizational improvements will result from the GUY’s contribution.

3. Execution
In order to facilitate change, the GUY must perform to a high level of expectation. A celebrity who appears at an event, makes a few canned remarks, poses for photos and exits has not created value. No improvement occurred. He did not execute.  A speaker, presenter, panelist or dinner guest that delivers actionable knowledge, facilitates additional introductions, moves forward the sales process, or solves a problem has accomplished a measurable goal.  That GUY has executed and value has been created. That is the GUY everyone wants to know!

Knowing a GUY is a form of social capital.  Recognizing a relationship’s value affirms that the capital can be exchanged.  Transferring trust through a personal introduction, demonstrated credibility, and recognized execution is essential currency to transact the social capital that yields tangible results.  So, when someone says that “I know a guy” measure the guy’s ability according to the likelihood for referrals, credibility and execution. The guy who passes that test, provides an opportunity for many to benefit greatly from a new relationship. The person who passes this test is undoubtedly the GUY you want to include!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal at Hunter & Beyond

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September 18, 2013 Posted by | Better Business | , , , , , , | 1 Comment