Being Bruce -: Networking Event Tip #30 - Power UP with Power Teams

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Networking Event Tip #30 - Power UP with Power Teams

This tip is most useful when you go to larger events, where there are at least 60-80 people or more. With smaller gatherings, even if you don't know too many people, the Power Team approach likely isn't necessary.

So here's the scenario: You're going to a big event and know that you can't possibly meet everyone, but that's OK, you already know that leaving with contact info for two or three great people to follow up with and get to know better is a win. However, there may be some folks that would have loved to meet you and vice versa but the sheer size of the crowd and the lack of time makes it impractical for everyone to really know who they might have missed out on.

The solution: Go in with a Power Team. A power team is a group of two or more people in related not non-competing businesses in the same field. For example, I'm a REALTOR(tm) so a power team for me might consist of a mortgage lender, a real estate attorney, a decorator, and a landscaper. I also do some business change coaching and am interested in marketing, so if I were to construct a power team for those two interests could consist of an accountant, a graphics designer, a promotional products rep, and a life coach.

Here's how it works: Agree ahead of time with another person or a small group (your power team) that:
  1. For this event you will act as a team
  2. You'll carry and when appropriate hand out each other's business cards
  3. You'll get cards from people others on your team might want to know and pass them on

And that's really all it takes. The formation of a power team can be very loose and can be short term, but the core agreement is that you will actively be on the lookout for GREAT contacts for others on your team while at the same time doing your own thing.

Choosing your power team members: Keep in mind that people on your team will, in a small way, represent you, so you want power team members who:

  1. Are good individual networkers (and all that entails)
  2. Will stick to the plan (if you notice a team member in a corner totally focused on a hottie for more than 10 minutes make a mental note to choose someone else for the next big event)
  3. You feel great about representing yourself. If you are fine receiving from but not too comfortable giving testimonials or referrals to someone, maybe they're not strong enough as a team member - remember if you refer someone and they turn out to be sub par, that reflects on you. If you consistently have a problem referring to others but are great at taking referrals - maybe it's time for a sharing check, because if you only take and don't give, you'll likely be off the team.

A Power Team may be a one-time effort or a frequently used networking tool. It only works well if members of the team are specifically aware of the strategy and each always has enough business cards for the other team members (you're both responsible for that).

This post is one in a series on how to make the most of in-person networking events. If you're going to go (and I suggest you do if your business benefits from relationships), you might as have the most fun possible and give and receive the greatest benefits from the occasion.

If you know want to know about upcoming business networking events in the greater Wilmington Area [which means to me anywhere from Topsail Island, NC to North Myrtle Beach, SC], check out David Merrill's Networking Event Calendar . And if you know of or are planning a networking event you'd like included in the calendar, e-mail David at