NetWeaving is the key to building strong business relationships, said Littell, chief netweaver and principal of Littell Consulting Services, Second Opinion Insurance Services LLC and The Enrichment Co. He spoke Thursday at the Buckhead Business Association’s weekly breakfast meeting at the City Club of Buckhead.
The Big Canoe resident calls NetWeaving the “Golden Rule” and “Pay it Forward” form of networking. “Shift from what’s in it for me to what’s in it for you,” he said.
Littell, who created NetWeaving, said the saying “What goes around comes around” is the basis for the concept.
It is based on putting other people’s needs, problems and opportunities first and foremost. “It helps strengthen relationships with the best existing clients and customers,” Littell said.
His latest book, “The Heart and Art of NetWeaving,” focuses on the two immediate benefits of NetWeaving, including “enhancing your image with others and energizing yourself.”
“It’s a business development tool to develop new relationships, and it helps expand your trusted resources,” he said.
In essence, Littell said NetWeaving requires an individual to ask three additional questions after meeting someone: “Is there someone I know who this person would benefit meeting? Are there resources the person could provide some of my clients with? Could he or she become part of my trusted network?”
While comparing networking to NetWeaving, he said two major weaknesses of the former are superficiality and failure of following through.
“I am amazed over my career at how terrible people are at following up and following through,” he said. “The most successful people I know are people who not only follow up but they follow through. Following through is the quality and creativity with which you follow up.”
He recommends following up within 24 to 48 hours after meeting, followed by an email suggesting a time to get together, as well as sending the person any articles they may be interested in reading.
Another major part of the NetWeaving is playing the connector, Littell said, and hosting a meeting between two other people who might mutually benefit from knowing each other.
Then, Littell said the host can ask the two people to “pay it forward” and perhaps host a meeting between two others, and so on.
Association member Mia Pilato said she recently moved to Atlanta from Washington and immediately noticed people are “all about building relationships here.”
“That is what it is all about,” she said.
Littell said one of the skills of NetWeaving is “positioning you as a no-strings-attached resource for others and establishing yourself as a go-to person.”
However, Littell said NetWeaving is not for everyone because not everyone believes in it.
“You have to genuinely believe in this concept,” he said. “The world is unfortunately full of both givers and takers.”
Association member Barry Hundley said, “It’s a cycle. The more you give to people, it always comes back around.”