How to broker a referral in the COVID connection economy – ZDNet

Posted: May 30, 2020 at 6:44 am


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"We are leaving the industrial economy and entering the connection economy." -- Seth Godin

The disruption to the world's economies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to wipe out 6.7% of working hours globally in the second quarter of this year -- the equivalent of 195 million jobs worldwide, according to theUN's Labor Body. And that statistic excludes employed people seeking new roles. In an increasingly tight job market, connection is king. And referral is the currency of choice. Are you hoping to hit the connection jackpot by playing the uncertain game of chance networking while your career is on the line?

You'll need more than luck to beat the odds in the COVID Connection Economy. Every day we are on the receiving end of burgeoning invitations to connect. And we are not alone. So it is your dream boss. Your ideal mentor. Your future recruiter. Your future hiring manager. And your future investor.

Successful connections and referrals begin with articulating your story in a trustworthy and unique way. It's about demonstrating competence and character.

Referrals result from how effectively you differentiate yourself. What you expect from a good mentor is also what you can find in a good referral. To earn a good referral, you must be able to demonstrate competence and character. You must demonstrate trustworthiness and unique abilities that set you apart from others. A good mentor will teach you how to think, not what to think. A good referral reveals who you are, not what just what you can do.

That's why it is shocking to repeatedly discover these six strangers -- and one standout superstar -- asking for connection and help. How often do you masquerade as one of these characters in your "click to connect" messages?

Fortunately, I occasionally hear from Powerhouse Pat. Who is Powerhouse Pat?

Powerhouse Patis the standout superstar in a cast of mediocrity. Prepared. Articulate. Focused. With clear priorities. Talking points. Examples of outcomes and impact. A well thought out ask at the end of the message. And an offer of shared value or reciprocity. Powerhouse Pat is the one who gets the yes. The connection. The referral.

How can you show up as Powerhouse Pat and increase your odds of a successful outcome? Invest as much thought in crafting your "click to connect" message as you would in preparing for a job interview. Your message matters. Your message is your tool to make a great first impression. And to differentiate yourself.

Remember, the simplest message is always the strongest. Before you send your high stakes "click to connect" referral request, be sure your invitation message concisely answers these four questions:

Success begins with your story.

These are very difficult times for people who are looking for meaningful jobs and new career opportunities. Asking for a referral, and getting one, is also hard work. Those of us who are fortunately working should do everything we can to help others. We should be empathetic and generous with our time and knowledge. If there is an opportunity to coach, we should coach. Giving back and helping others is the most rewarding and important work at times of uncertainty and economic downturns. Being a door opener matters, and a good referral can open doors.

Karen Mangia, vice president of customer and market insights and a member of theSalesforce'sWork From Home Task Force, and I have co-authored severalarticles on how you can reach your full potential and deliver peak performance while working from home. We've covered how you design andarchitect your surroundings, the art and science ofpublic speakingand presentation skills, the ability topause, ponder, and prioritize your time, how to effectively managing your remote teams, and how leaders must cultivatehealthy relationships for all stakeholders. We also know the importance ofmanaging relationships with managersand how world recording holding athletes develop amindset that keeps you inspired and motivatedto work from home. All of these articles can help you develop the capabilities you need for a strong referral.

What are you discovering as you work from home? We welcome your insights here or by joining us on Twitter at@karenmangiaand@ValaAfshar.

This article was co-authored byKaren Mangia, vice president, customer and market insights, atSalesforce.

Karen engages customers globally to discover new ways of creating success and growth together. From Executive Advisory Boards to strategic consulting engagements, her insights are central to Go-to-Market strategy, product development, marketing, and branding. In addition,Kareninfluences industry thought leadership in her role as Chair of the Customer Experience Council for The Conference Board. Formerly responsible for Insight Innovation at Cisco Systems, she led a global team with oversight into Customer Satisfaction and Experience, Diversity Business Practices, and Global Offset and Countertrade. Karen is also the author ofSuccess With Lessand a TEDx speaker.

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How to broker a referral in the COVID connection economy - ZDNet

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May 30th, 2020 at 6:44 am

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