Saturday, June 10, 2006

Recommended Reading: The Heart and Art of Netweaving

Here is a review of "The Heart and Art of Netweaving," by Richard Littell. I haven't read this book but it sounds great and seems to reinforce a lot of the ideas I talk and write about. I just heard about it from Marketing Mentor client and copywriter, Mary McCauley-Stiff, of Five Star Writing. (Review written by Joe Carroll and published in the Gwinnett Business Journal)
"The Heart and Art of Netweaving," by Richard Littell

This book is about how to build long-term relationships
both on a business and personal level. It is squarely
grounded in the fundamental belief that what goes
around comes around. Author Robert S. Littell draws
a sharp line between networking and netweaving.

He portrays networking as a very "superficial"
process in which people exchange business cards,
have short conversations and try to immediately
establish if the person is a prospect or someone
that can solve their problem. If there is no match,
they move on to the next person.
It is not a situation where people really get to know each other.

Netweaving, on the other hand, seeks to help
someone else out without expecting a return favor.
It takes the "You scratch my back and I will scratch yours"
concept out of the equation. The whole concept is built
around the law of reciprocity. It is an altruistic concept
which puts other people's needs above your own.
However, the author implies that if you do it often enough,
sooner or later, good things will come back to you.
The author also encourages his readers to
become "netweaving ambassadors."

A netweaving ambassador, or "power netweaver," is someone
who has become very skilled in connecting other people and
becoming a resource for others. They know the right questions
to ask and are skilled in the art of listening. They follow up
and follow through in order to maintain the relationship
and take it to the next level.

Littell provides three key questions that he says
help others to open up:

  • Tell me the story of how you landed your
    biggest account, or landed your best client or customer?
  • What is your most burning problem, need or
    opportunity with which I might be able to help?
  • What is your strategic advantage?

All of these questions are designed to break through
the superficiality level and get to know and understand
people better so you are in a better position to help them.

Not everyone that you meet will become members of your
network for a variety of reasons. A key requirement is
the trust factor. If you can't trust the person that you are
developing a relationship with, then chances are you will
not be able to refer him to other people in your network.
Littell also says that you don't keep score in networking,
but if you are giving and giving and never getting anything
back, then that person is a "taker" and not a "giver".
It may be time to move on.

How to provide referrals is also an important
aspect of the netweaving process.

The author distinguishes three types of levels.
Level one is where you simply give someone a name
and phone number of someone you feel would benefit
from meeting this person. With level two, you add
an e-mail or a note or perhaps a personal letter and
describe why the two people would greatly benefit
by meeting each other. With level three, you actually
make a phone call in addition to the e-mail or letter
to further expand on why the two people should meet.

This concept of helping others is not for everyone.
The world is full of givers and takers. Takers will have
no patience for developing relationships because
it takes time and commitment. For those who truly
enjoy helping others, this book can give you a wealth
of solid techniques to help you start to build your network.


Blogger Krishna Avva said...

One minor correction. His name is Robert (Bob) Littell. I have heard him speak several times and he always evalgenizes netweaving very well. He has teamed up with the lady that wrote "Pay It Forward" and the netweaving concept dovetails very nicely with that philosophy.

Krishna Avva

9:56 AM  

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