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.

  • “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”? Every year about this time I get a message or two in my inbox about this world-shaking controversy. Should we say “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas”? Now, please feel free to do whatever you want, but here’s the way I see it from the perspective of a networker. It’s always about them. Until and unless you know otherwise, ...
  • What If They Don’t Like Me? Some people just hit it off. Others just don’t see eye-to-eye. Ever since we started kindergarten, this has been a worry for most of us. It probably plateaued around the time we started going to junior high/middle school dances and hasn’t faded too much in the meantime. Everyone wants others to like them. We worry about how ...
  • Remember the Reason for Networking My mom, Debby Peters, founder of Connext Nation had a great article in her last newsletter about the idea of networking events versus networking relationships. Check it out to read the whole article. The point that really got me was when she was talking about whether we needed to attend a networking event — especially when ...
  • 7 Networking Ideas for When You’re Feeling Lame My new friend, Lynda Gronlund, certified personal trainer and owner of Balance Point Fitness, commented on yesterday’s post. You can read the full comment elsewhere, but the important part was that she was feeling lame for skipping a weekly networking event because she just wasn’t feeling up to it. Then she asked: … How do you ...
  • Are You Standing in the Parking Lot? I gave a presentation at the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Regional Chamber last week. It was a good crowd and they reacted well to what I had to say (meaning no one threw anything at me). One of the points I made has to do with the nature of joining any networking group. I made it in ...
  • 6 Networking Goals for Other People We’ve talked on numerous occasions about the importance of setting goals in our networking practice. From short-term goals, such as the number of people you plan on meeting at an event, all the way to long-term goals such as your ultimate target for your networking, whether it be growing your business, finding employment, or supporting ...
  • It’s Not What You Do Today was our annual Christmas cookie baking day with my mom. Every year, usually on the second Sunday of December, my mom hops in her little yellow Mini-Cooper and drives up from Perrysburg. We spend the whole day baking batches upon batches of cookies. We managed nine different kinds this year. We hit a lot ...
  • Give Feedback Our nanny, Beth, is currently in training to become a massage therapist. For homework she was required to give thirty hours of massages to friends and family, but no more than three sessions for any one person. Of course, I volunteered, because I’m that kind of “giving” guy (what can I say?). Sadly, today was ...
  • Being a Disney Hero Will the real Cinderella please stand up? I may have mentioned before on one or two occasions that I have a three-year-old daughter. She loves pretty much all things Disney. As a result, I get to watch a lot of Disney movies — repeatedly. After a certain amount of time, you begin to recognize some common themes. One ...
  • The Good Predator Ironically, both “white hat” and “black hat” networkers have similar mindsets. They both think like wolves. Wolves, when hunting, target the weak, and sick members of the herds. Networkers look at the attendees at networking events in the same way. OK, they aren’t targeting the sick and weak, but they do look for those people who ...
  • First-Timer Mistakes: Business Card Expectations At least he took a shot! Before I try something new, if possible, I like to find someone who has done it before and ask them how to avoid the “first timer” mistakes. I figure if I can call on someone else’s experience, I’ve got a better chance of succeeding earlier than if I try to ...
  • More Master Mind Yesterday I wrote about the type of Master Mind group that I started. Essentially it is a peer-counseling style which allows those of us who belong to call upon the wisdom of the other members in dealing with any challenges in our lives, either personal or professional. This certainly isn’t the only type of Master ...
  • Using the Master Mind Not that kind of Master Mind I’ve written before about how some super networkers have gone so far as create their own networking communities. Hundreds of people are familiar with these folks because of this. The only problem for less experienced networkers is that starting a networking group can be a bit daunting. How do you ...
  • The Wisdom of Crowds Your network can be a real lifesaver One of the many benefits of having a strong network is that, no matter what challenges you might currently be experiencing, there is a remarkably high chance that someone in your network somewhere has experienced something similar and figured out a solution. Again, a high percentage of the time, ...
  • You Can Do What? A Disney parade can certainly make you feel special. The last letter in my INFER acronym stands for “Resources”. Unfortunately, it’s one that seems to be difficult to explain. Essentially, this represents all of those things about another person — skills, personality traits, possessions — which don’t necessarily relate to their passions in life or their job. It’s ...
  • A Season for Networking Manistee Christmas We’re visiting my folks up in Manistee this weekend. It’s become an annual tradition for us to come up for the first weekend in December for the town’s Victorian Sleigh-bell Festival. It’s a ton of fun with a craft fair, a hall of trees, a little bit of shopping, and all culminating in the Sleigh-bell Parade ...
  • Goal-less Networking I think I could “network” here. This evening I attended the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Regional Chamber‘s Year Ender networking event. This is usually a huge blow-out. I don’t know how many people were there this year, but I know we’ve easily hit over seven hundred in previous years. Lots of great food and refreshments and lots of ...
  • Meeting More than Once Yes, you guessed it. It’s another networking lesson from my daughter and her adventures at Disney World. As I mentioned yesterday, if you were to look through my photos from this trip to Disney, you would notice a theme of my daughter hugging and posing with the various characters at the different parks. This was the ...
  • Giving Them a Big Hug Kaylie melting (the Queen of) Hearts More networking lessons from my daughter at Disney World. If you looked through my photos from our trip to Disney World, you might notice a theme or a pattern, if you will. It usually involves my daughter running up to some sort of fictional character — cartoon, princess, or other — ...
  • Networking Examples at Disney World It’s kind of funny to see some of the concepts of networking playing themselves out in real life, especially when it’s in an unexpected situation. In this case, my daughter, Kaylie, who is an amazing networker (as most children are) showed me the power of personal introductions. Here’s what happened. We are down at Disney World ...