Developing a Networking Contact Sphere
A contact sphere is a group of business professionals who have a symbiotic relationship. They are compatible, non-competitive professions. Contact spheres are a broad list of professions that could work well with you. While your Power Team is only those that you are actively working with. Hence, the power team working that symbiotic relationship created in the contact sphere.
My favorite example of a contact sphere is the caterer, the florist, the photographer, the videographer, hairstylist, makeup artist, and the travel agent. I call this the “wedding mafia”! If one gets a referral to a wedding, then they all get a referral to the wedding. These professions, more than most, have truly learned how to work their contact sphere. A contact sphere can be a steady source of leads. Each has clients who can benefit from the services of the others. This is why a wedding often turns out to be, on the side, a business networking and referral-gathering activity.
To get the most out of your contact sphere:
- Identify as many professions as possible that fit within your company’s contact sphere. Take a look at what professions your industry tends to work with to get an idea of repetitive and reciprocal referrals. Create a list of these professions.
- Identify specific individuals who could fit into your contact sphere. Go to various networking groups and consult your business card file and database.
- Invite these people to participate in networking groups with you so you can formalize your relationship and have a way to stay in regular contact. Maintaining a relationship is key. A good way to do that is to participate in groups that put you together on a regular basis.
- Evaluate the professionals in your contact sphere that you are presently referring to. If they are not reciprocating, you may have the wrong profession or the wrong person. Fill the spot with someone who is willing to reciprocate.
Although developing a solid contact sphere will greatly increase your business, you must remember that it alone is not enough. Because contact spheres consist of small groups, you’re not likely to gain exposure to a large number of individuals. Hence, work on developing your overall network of contacts at the same time you are developing your contact sphere. Good luck. Contact spheres are a great way to start building your professional network.
One thought on “Developing a Networking Contact Sphere”
I am a hairstylist and although I thoroughly enjoy doing hair, I joined The John Maxwell Team so that I could learn how to better serve each client in my chair. I have found that often, I am able to refer clients to another one of my clients for a service they need outside of hair. I also love the opportunity to refer my friends when a client of mine begins the wedding planning process as you mentioned above. Networking is so fun and I have found that it has made me a happier person knowing that I can truly serve my clients in many different areas besides hair and products. Thank you for an exceptional article. Also, I recently found your website after listening to your call with The John Maxwell Team a couple years ago. I learned so much! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and congratulations on your award!