The Reluctant Networker Blog by Greg Peters

We all know that networking — or word-of-mouth — is one of the best ways to grow a business. But what if you don’t know where to start? What if you don’t know what to say? What if the other kids laugh at you? We can help.

  • Casting a Wider Net than You Know For about two years, I’ve been focused on the Credit Union industry as the target market for my company, The Reluctant Networker. I’ve been developing specific products to fit their needs, I’ve been calling on my contacts in the industry to get their advice on how I can better serve them. I’ve even reached out ...
  • I Want To Be Like Kaylie Kaylie and I had just finished our Karate class. We decided to stop upstairs at the coffee shop to get a little snack. As always, she got her favorite – a fruit and yogurt parfait. We headed further into the store to pick up a spoon so she could dig in. On our way, we ...
  • Executive Networking Profile: Bridget (Looby) Staffileno “I shudder when I hear ‘networking’” The beginning of my conversation with Bridget (Looby) Staffileno, Vice President of Community Affairs for Catholic Federal Credit Union worried me just a little. After all, this was supposed to be a chat about how executives at leading financial institutions use networking to succeed in their positions. Fortunately, she quickly ...
  • Which Position Needs to Network More than Any Other? If you’ve read some of my recent posts, you know I’ve been chatting a lot in the past couple of months with executives and officers at local financial institutions, especially credit unions. During those conversations I’ve discovered something interesting… Executives need to network. No, really. They need to network more than just about any other position in ...
  • Miracles and Magic “Miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.” ~ Jon Bon Jovi My wife is a genius. Seriously. Not only does she have a PhD in molecular biology, run her own business, and keep this family on target, she also somehow manages to have a positive outlook on ...
  • Near or Far, Networking Resistance As I write this post, I’m on a flight to Arizona for a training program through the National Speakers Association. I don’t want to go. Oh, I know that I’ll meet great people there. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot. I may even pick up a resource or two that might help my business take off. I’m ...
  • Executive Networking Profile: Karen Church “Always make time to meet with others outside the credit union.” advises Karen Church, CEO of ELGA Credit Union, especially if you are new to the industry. In the years she has been CEO she concedes that sometimes making that commitment can be a challenge. Somehow, though, you have to make that balance between developing a ...
  • Executive Networking Profile: Kenny Leonard As the Chair of the Greater Southwest Chapter of the Michigan Credit Union League, Kenneth “Kenny” Leonard has seen a lot of new networkers come and go. When asked what he sees as their biggest mistakes, he responds “Sticking with those they already know.” Leonard knows the value of connecting with new people whenever you can. ...
  • Executive Networking Profile: Jim Boehler “It’s about expanding your comfort zone.” says Lakes Community Credit Union Marketing Director, Jim Boehler. “You just have to stop being afraid.” Jim admits that this was a real challenge for him when he first started networking. Chatting with complete strangers was definitely outside his comfort zone. As a marketing director, though, he had to talk ...
  • Executive Networking Profile: Tina Dix “It doesn’t matter what their title is, they are all still people.” Tina Dix, CEO of OUR Credit Union in Royal Oak, Michigan took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with me about how she uses networking to support her efforts to grow and maintain her organization. According to her, one of the ...
  • 5 Ways to Appreciate your Referral Partners “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John F. Kennedy Thanksgiving is drawing near here in the United States and with it come thoughts of gratitude for that which we have received in the previous year. Of course, as skilled networkers, ...
  • This is the One Reason Professional Groups aren’t Growing “If people choose to engage on a one-dimensional level that’s fine. But going beyond the surface can enrich ourselves as human beings.” ~ Geri Halliwell “We get lots of visitors and guests, but our membership has been at the same level for the last several years. We’re not sure what to do about it.” My friend was ...
  • Why Should I Network? The Benefits of Accountability “True love does not only encompass the things that make you feel good, it also holds you to a standard of accountability.” ~Monica Johnson In the last year or so, my business has really started to grow. I mean, it was doing OK, just limping along in the first four years, but last year? Wow! It has ...
  • 5 Ways to Show Respect for Your Professional Connections “Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” ~ Joyce Meyer At the beginning of the school year, my girls were so excited to go, they would show up in my room every morning before my alarm went off to make sure I got up. They would chatter happily ...
  • What If Everyone Networked Like That? Today, as a part of a preschool field trip to the apple orchard, Abby and I found ourselves navigating a maze built of hay bales. Abby was really getting into it, scampering down the passages and laughing at each dead end — right up until the moment she and one of her classmates rounded a ...
  • Networking Routines, Networking Ruts My buddy Tim and I head down to Dragon Con each year. It’s a science fiction convention that draws about 70,000 attendees. The convention is fun, but the real reason I go is that Tim and I have these great conversations. We talk about business, success, art, capturing ideas, and some of the successes we’ve ...
  • The Networking Dance “When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” ~ Wayne Dyer Each year, as a family, we get together at a nearby campground for the Memorial Day weekend. The park we’ve been to for the last few years, Groveland Oaks, lines ...
  • Jelly Making and the Networking Practice “Experience is the teacher of all things.” ~ Julius Caesar The crabapple tree is going crazy this year. It started producing fruit early and with gleeful abandon. That means that I’ve been jelly making — a lot. I just finished my 70th pint jar for the season and I still have close to a bushel of fruit in ...
  • Networking Groups, Put Out the Welcome Mat “Great men show politeness in a particular way; a smile suffices to assure you that you are welcome, and keep about their avocations as if you were a member of the family.” ~ John James AudubonWelcome home. That should be the clarion call for every networking group. Visitors, new members, or even those who’ve joined but attend ...
  • Bad Excuses: I don’t have time I’m in Grand Rapids, Michigan this week, working with the folks at the Michigan Recruiting and Retention Network’s annual convention, teaching them about the importance of developing great networks and giving them some tools to use while doing it. These are the recruiters and physician liaisons who work tirelessly to bring in and retain the ...