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.

  • 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 ...
  • Timeline of a Networking Event, Part 3: After Over the past couple of days we’ve been talking about the sequence of events leading up to and during a networking event. In this example we chose to look specifically at a lunchtime event with a speaker. You can adapt most of these actions, though, to any networking event. Now that we’ve dealt with what ...
  • Timeline of a Networking Event, Part 2: During Yesterday we talked about what we should do in the days and hours leading up to a networking event. The preparations we set in motion were designed to give us an advantage when we got to the event and to get some networking in even before the official start of the festivities. Now the clock ...
  • Timeline of a Networking Event, Part 1: Before As networkers we attend a lot of events. After all it’s where we meet new people and briefly touch base with existing connections. Folks who are new to the process, though, are often baffled by the whole thing – what to do and when to do it. If you know someone like that, pass along ...
  • Thanks! As I write, I’m still feeling a bit uncomfortable with the amount I ate during Thanksgiving dinner — about eight hours ago. It was a delicious meal and it was wonderful having a quiet family gathering. Not surprisingly, this time of year makes me think of all the things for which I’m grateful. If that ...
  • Maybe One More Benefit: Improved Intelligence? My friend Luis Albright posted a link on Facebook to this article in The Telegraph. It was a story about how relative to their size, dogs brains have grown faster than cat brains. Of course, the supposition is that the larger the brain relative to the body size, the higher the potential intelligence. Whether you ...
  • New Things A long-time dear friend, Torun Moore, and her great kids stopped by for a visit this evening. I’ve known Torun since third grade. She lives in Virginia now, so we don’t get to see each other often, but we do try to stay in touch and visit whenever possible. Tonight when she showed up she ...
  • Another Way to Support the Group We’ve talked before about the importance of supporting the groups you join. Volunteer to help at events, write articles for the newsletter, or even hold a position in the leadership. That’s all good. Now I’m going to suggest a technique which can be just as powerful. Invite a guest. Listen, above all else, an organization exists to ...
  • How to Find a Contact Sphere We talked about contact spheres yesterday. Basically these are the group of businesses who also serve you target market, but don’t compete with you. They tend to make good networking partners since the clients for one can often be clients for the other. OK, so you’ll probably agree that these are pretty cool. Now the trick ...
  • Contact Spheres As I understand, Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI coined the term “contact sphere” in his book, The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret: Building Your Business With Word-of-Mouth Marketing. It’s an idea that a lot of new networkers miss out on so I thought I would pass it along. Essentially, a contact sphere is the group of ...
  • Networking Over Carpet He was working so hard I couldn’t get him to look at the camera. Such dedication! We’ve been having a little bit of work done on our basement lately, including having new carpet installed. We purchased our carpet from the local GCO carpet outlet store. When we did, they gave us the names of some installers in ...
  • But I’m not a Systems Person! Just another system I was having coffee with a good friend the other day when the conversation turned to the concept of using systems in networking. She admitted that she understood how valuable they were, but that she wasn’t really a systems person so she could never seem to get them to stick. That being the ...
  • What are You Going to Write About this Week? Yesterday we talked about using writing as a part of your networking practice. Your written “voice” can strengthen connections through testimonials and Gratitude Notes. It can build your reputation through blogs and articles, and it can maintain a low-level “touch” through a regular newsletter. Now, most people don’t have a problem with writing an occasional ...
  • What Did You Write Today? My friend Scott Ginsberg, a master on the topic of approachability, maintains that writing is the basis for all wealth. Writing down our thoughts forces us to clarify them. Jotting down our plans helps us discover the flaws so that we can have a better chance of succeeding. Putting pen to page (or fingers to ...