The Professional Value of a Personal Recommendation

This past spring, a professional contact and friend published a blog post listing a few of his favorite sales-focused podcasts. After reading that post, I checked out the recommendations and have since become a regular listener of three of them.

Networking = Offering Value

Every time that I listen to these podcasts, I think of my contact — the guy who recommended them. I find myself feeling grateful all over again that I heard about these great professional resources from a trusted source in the marketplace. And that always gets me thinking about the value of making recommendations to professional contacts.

The basic premise here is that sharing knowledge, insight and skills is the most valuable way to approach networking. Don’t ask what a potential networking opportunity can do for you — ask what you can bring to that opportunity. The personal recommendation is the same. Consider what tools, resources or guidance you can offer to your contacts as a way to help them get ahead. (Tip of the hat here to Dan Kowalski, a management consultant who delivered that key message in a presentation that I attended in April 2013.)

Since my friend, Joe McGonigal of SCC Partners, shared that post, I’ve taken the following actions, some consciously, and some less so.

  • Paid more attention to Joe’s Twitter feed looking for other recommended gems,
  • Become a regular reader of the SCC Partners blog,
  • Made a point of recommending Joe and SCC Partners to other professional colleagues and friends.

Of course, I’ve also been learning from Joe’s recommended podcasts and have been taking actions from what I’ve learned in those podcasts. (In fact, I just implemented something I learned while driving and listening to a podcast on Tuesday of last week. That step, asking a question of a client, paid a return by Saturday of that same week.)

Joe’s blog post about recommended podcasts — The 7 Best Podcasts for Sales People — has delivered so much value to me that I know I owe Joe at least one favor, and probably a handful of them. I’m constantly on the look out for a chance to give back to Joe.

And that’s how networking works …

Recommended Podcasts

Getting back to the recommended podcasts, I’ll share my favorites from that initial list.

The Advanced Selling Podcast:
Every week these guys cover some aspect of selling. While their audience is, strictly speaking, sales professionals, their messages, ideas and suggestions hold true for any professional. (Also, we’re all in sales anyway.)

HBR IdeaCast
A wide-ranging podcast that covers all sorts of matters within the field of business – everything from being efficient in the office to growing your brand globally.

The Accidental Creative
A mix of tips, ideas and strategies to drive creativity, these short podcasts pack a lot of value for any listener looking for ways to up their professional game.

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