The Concept of NetWeaving Is About to Explode

Part 1 of 2

The Concept of NetWeavng is About to Explode

The lifeblood for any sales and marketing professional lies in obtaining referrals. It’s no surprise that the key to gaining referrals rests almost totally on creating Trusted Relationships with key centers of influence, as well as with current clients.

A 25-year-old concept called NetWeaving has been proven over time to fast track this process by focusing on two important skill sets. First, by becoming a connector of others, with their needs, problems and opportunities in mind rather than just your own. Secondly, by building a reputation and positioning yourself as a gratuitous resource provider for others, while already having vetted the resources and identified them as exceptional, whether they be a person, a product or a service. This third skill set involves building a Trusted Resource Network over time and consistently expanding it, as well as sorting out and deleting sources that have proven or have disappointed in the quality of their work.

Networking vs. NetWeaving

The two primary differences between traditional networking and NetWeaving are the mindset and the approach. The mindset with traditional networking is more internally focused on identifying a prospect for your particular product or service. In conversations at networking events, a networker is primarily asking him or herself three questions:

  1. Is this person a prospect for me?
  2. Could this person provide information or resources that I need?
  3. Could they possibly introduce me to someone whom I would benefit meeting and knowing?

On the other hand, NetWeavers are tuned into conversations with a different set of antennae.  They are asking themselves:

  1. Is there someone I know who might benefit from meeting and getting to know this person?
  2. Could this person provide information or resources to someone else I know?
  3. Has this person impressed me so much, I need to stay in touch, and if they continue to impress me, find a way to make them part of my Trusted Resource Network?

The major weakness of traditional networking is a lack of follow up and follow through. Too many people attend networking events and come away feeling good by having collected a handful of business cards, which decay on their desk without any attempt to follow up. Weeks later they come across those cards and they can’t remember the person’s face, let alone what they talked about.

I define “following up” within a time context. Within 24 to 48 hours after meeting someone you just met who has really impressed you, follow up with a phone call, an email or a handwritten note.

What NetWeavers Do Differently

The best NetWeavers not only follow up, they also follow through. Following through is the creativity with which you follow up. In addition to any phone or written communication as follow up, you ask yourself, “What could I do in the way of following up that would make that person say, ‘WOW! No one has ever done that before.’”

NetWeaving is not an attack on traditional and more self-centered networking. But, in the long run, and often much earlier, the benefits – business-wise and personally – that come from your NetWeaving activities will far outweigh those of more inwardly focused ones.

Providing gratuitous resources and information for others is another one of the key elements of NetWeaving. Real Estate agents are one of the best examples of this. The best ones are constantly building a Trusted Resource Network and that is a major part of their value, and it is the accelerator for their “referability.”

Over time, I have learned that the most powerful skill set of NetWeaving, and the one most likely to result in things coming back around to benefit the NetWeaver – especially with referrals – involves hosting meetings to introduce two (or more) persons to each other. Believe it or not, the higher the position and influence of the two individuals you connect, the easier it is to make the introduction. Powerful people want to meet and know other powerful people whom they don’t already know. That’s largely how they got to be so powerful.

One woman, Judy Robinett, consultant, speaker and author of “How to be a Power Connector,” has proven this. Judy transformed herself from her beginning as a social worker in the nonprofit world into becoming a player in the corporate world, where today she is known as having a titanium Rolodex made up of millionaires, billionaires and leaders at the top of many industries. Here’s been her secret:

“If you want to have increased influence and impact, become someone who can connect people with the individuals and resources they need but either don’t know or can’t access. Often, people have great potential and they’re just missing one thing – and when you open a door or point someone toward a resource they need, or you can help them figure out a way to accomplish a goal, your influence and impact are magnified a thousandfold.” (Robinett, 2014)

Judy emphasizes, that building such a network is not done overnight. It takes time, energy, creativity and especially a strong commitment to make this work.

After spending over two decades speaking, writing and consulting about NetWeaving, and with so many people and even entire companies that have embraced the philosophy and who are now practicing the skill sets and action steps, the one thing I have been most disappointed about is the limited number of professionals in sales and marketing who truly understand the power of hosting NetWeaving meetings.

I speak with dozens of individuals who are ardent fans of the NetWeaving philosophy and concept, yet when asked how many NetWeaving hosting meetings have you set up over the last year to introduce two or more people to each other, the answer is often, “I have made several introductions.” This is not the same as strategically and systematically making the process part of your regular business and personal life.

Over the last year or so, I have discovered that there is now a now tool at every sales and marketing professional’s disposal that can make setting up and hosting NetWeaver meetings 10 times easier without losing any of the effectiveness of an in-person hosting meeting. It involves the use of Zoom, WebEx, and other online tools allowing virtual face-to-face interactions.

Part 2 of this article, which will be published tomorrow, will examine how to use these tools most effectively, both in setting up hosting NetWeaving meetings. We’ll cover how to increase the chances that your efforts will not only help the two (or more) individuals whom you have brought together, but how you, as the NetWeaver, will also benefit.


  • Bob LIttell

    Chief NetWeaver at NetWeaving International & The Enrichment Co., Bob Littell is an expert in sales and marketing training, with a focus on building trusted relationships through a concept called NetWeaving.

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