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.

  • 5 Tactics to Avoid Being a Networking Schleprock “Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.” ~Washington Irving Do you remember the character Schleprock from the old “Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm” cartoon show? P&B was a short-lived spin-off of “The Flintstones” following the children of Fred and Barney into their teen years. Anyway, for those who didn’t watch Saturday morning ...
  • 5 Questions to Serve Your Network Better “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore Always look for ways to be of service. It’s sort of a mantra for great networkers. The problem is, when you sit down across from someone and straight-up ask the question “How ...
  • 3 Questions to Revive Your Networking “I find that even small changes sometimes jog you out of a mental rut.” ~ Tom Perrotta “Why am I here?” It’s Labor Day weekend 2016 and I’m sitting on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta. I’m on my annual nerd-pilgrimage, attending the DragonCon science fiction convention with my buddy Tim. Imagine being surrounded by ...
  • The Nightmares of Networking Neglect “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” ~ J. K. Rowling Repeat after me: Everyone needs to network. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the networking needs of those who aren’t directly in sales. These are the back office workers, the managers, and even the executives who spend most of their time working ...
  • Seven Ways to Break Out of Your Networking Rut “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~Wayne Dyer What a refreshing change! I recently attended a networking event called MiDiCo (short for Michigan Diversity Connections). It’s a program designed to bring together small minority/women/veteran-owned businesses and potential corporate partners. I met some amazing people, listened to some interesting presentations, ...
  • Merging into Networking “The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to achieve the American dream.” ~ Tommy Hilfiger I watched the big camper turn left out onto the busy roadway. US-31 is a five-lane surface street (2 each north and south and one turn lane) that runs past the ...
  • 5 Red Flags for Networking Groups “History is a vast early warning system.” ~ Norman Cousins I’m out for my morning walk. We’re on vacation in Traverse City, so my path takes me along the shoreline. If you were with me you’d feel the breeze blowing off the bay and hear the seagulls squabbling on the beach. The autumn colors are starting to ...
  • Us and Them “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” ~Nelson Mandela Republican, Democrat, Independent. Us and Them. Christian, Jew, Muslim. Us and Them. Wolverine, Buckeye, Spartan. Us and Them. Labels define the groups to which we belong. This tendency we have to group together as “tribes” comes from ...
  • 5 Reasons Robo-Callers are Anti-Networking “All deception in the course of life is indeed nothing else but a lie reduced to practice, and falsehood passing from words into things.” Robert Southey I was the victim of an activity I will call “anti-networking” this morning and I’m mildly enraged. Most of the rest of the world calls this violation of human trust, “robo-calling”. If ...
  • Don’t Make this Mistake with Children or Business Connections “Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” ~Charles R. Swindoll I dropped off my daughters at school this morning. Kaylie, our fifth grader, gives me a quick hug and a kiss. “Bye, Dad! Love you!” I squeeze her tight. “Have a great day, Sweetheart. I love you.” It doesn’t escape ...
  • Lessons from the Labyrinth: Mental Models “Society bristles with enigmas which look hard to solve. It is a perfect maze of intrigue.” ~ Honore de Balzac As I mentioned in the last post, we recently went to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island for a brief family vacation. While there, we decided to explore the grounds and in so doing discovered a labyrinth ...
  • Lessons from the Labyrinth: Perseverance on the Path “Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” ~Buddha This year as a part of my 50th birthday celebration, we stayed a ...
  • Moments of Magic — The Eclipse “I am a great admirer of mystery and magic. Look at this life – all mystery and magic.” ~Harry Houdini Sometimes, you can’t explain magic. It just happens. Elizabeth and I took the girls down to Southern Illinois University to witness the eclipse on August 21st. Carbondale, where the school is located, was one of the prime locations ...
  • Old Friends and Networking Regret “There’s always failure. And there’s always disappointment. And there’s always loss. But the secret is learning from the loss, and realizing that none of those holes are vacuums.” ~ Michael J. Fox Jeff Gibbs and I were college roommates. Heck, we’d known each other and were friends since high school. He always joked that we guys who ...
  • The Potato Chip Plan “I love it when a plan comes together!” ~  John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, the A-Team Shortly before our second daughter, Abby, was born, I spent some time focusing on my physical health. By the time she arrived, I had achieved my ideal weight and was feeling pretty pleased with myself. I think the word we’re searching for is “hubris” ...
  • Book Excerpt: Icebreakers “Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.” ~ Mark Haddon Congratulations! You’ve successfully broken into a group for the purpose of having a conversation. You just have to figure out how to kick it off. I’m now going to share with you my ultimate, top-secret, never-fails opening line that took me ...
  • Speak Up or Freeze “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” ~William Arthur Ward It was a little breezy around here last week, and by “breezy” I mean a windstorm with gusts around sixty-five miles per hour that toppled large trees and knocked out power for around 800,000 homes. Immediately after ...
  • Book Excerpt: Sales Focus/Relationship Focus “From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.” ~ Groucho Marx As promised, here is another excerpt from my soon-to-be-released book, “Hello and a Handshake”. Here we’re focusing on the first of five Negative Networking Attitudes. Sales Focus/Relationship Focus We’ve already touched a bit ...
  • 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 ...