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.

  • Know Who You Are. Know What You Want. In this blog you’ve often heard me talk about the importance of asking questions. Finding out about the other person is a vital aspect of your networking practice. Remember, though, in any conversation, both parties should be talking about the same amount. Of course, you want to learn about them. That’s how you are going to ...
  • Where’s Your Networking Joy? I’ve been thinking more about the mindset we need to bring to networking. So many of us focus on the “working” part of it. We have to go to the event. We have to make the calls. We have to go have coffee. What drudgery. I like Keith Ferrazzi’s approach that he talks about in his ...
  • Having Fun and Networking, Too I know you’ve heard this one before: It’s called net-working, not net-sitting or net-eating. A lot of people take this to heart and pursue their networking with a business-like zeal. You know what, though? Maybe we’ve taken this too much to heart. Maybe we need to think a little bit about “net-playing“. I was meeting with ...
  • The Limited Networker Field Guide: The Black-Belly Abyss This is the another in the “Limited Networker Field Guide” series. Name: The Black-Belly Abyss Environment: Attending any and all networking events, but nowhere else. Behavior: The Black-Belly Abyss is a master of disguise. Wherever he appears, everyone assumes that he is a variation of the Golden-Tailed Networker. His behavior at networking events is nothing short of exemplary. He can carry ...
  • Good Books: Never Eat Alone I just finished re-reading Keith Ferrazzi’s book, “Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets To Success, One Relationship At A Time“. Please note that I wrote “re-reading”. The book is that good. Now, as you probably already expect, this book is full of great techniques and tips about how to get the most out of networking, including ...
  • Good Things Happen Every day I espouse the benefits of good networking — how providing value for others with no expectation of return eventually does provide a return. Still, I’m occasionally surprised when it happens to me. A couple months ago I was chatting with my good friend Mike Wynn and he mentioned how much he was enjoying this ...
  • Active vs Passive Networking One of the mistakes beginning networkers make is waiting for everyone else to take the first step. They hand out their cards and then sit by the phone, waiting for it to ring. Now, it does happen, once in a great while, but, really, the best networking relationships won’t happen unless you take the first ...
  • Good Customer Service is Good Networking I have been working on moving one of my Cyber Data Solutions clients to a new hosting service. We had run into a challenge or two. The biggest one was that the domain name, “cellochan.com“, was registered with Yahoo Small Business. Unfortunately, while the domain still existed, the account that I needed to make the ...
  • Playing Games, Part 3 So a couple of days ago, we started talking about networking “games” that you might sometimes encounter at various professional gatherings. Then yesterday we took a short break to focus more closely on speed networking. Today let’s finish up the list of some of the games you might encounter.Business card bingo. This one often happens ...
  • Playing Games, Part 2 I love life’s little coincidences. Yesterday I wrote about some types of networking games. In particular I mentioned “speed networking” — a practice where you sit across from someone and in three or four minutes you each try to decide whether you want to continue your networking relationship. Then yesterday evening at the Chamber Ambassadors ...
  • Playing Games, Part 1 Event organizers try to come up with new ways all the time to help attendees have more fun — or at least be more effective — in their networking efforts. While not all of these are “games” per se, they do deviate from the normal mixer-style that most networking events adopt. Are all of them ...
  • On Being a Member of a Community Lisa, Kaylie, and I went to the Ya’ssoo Greek Festival on Sunday. It was at a local Church, but folks were coming from all over to celebrate being “Greek for a day”. The music and dancing were a lot of fun and the food (homemade, of course) was fantastic! What struck me most about the ...
  • Twice Burned A couple of months ago, my wife, Lisa, and I bought a new elliptical trainer for our home workout area. We’d been saving for it for several years because we believe in getting high quality (because we do use the machines — a lot). We were pleasantly surprised when, in addition to the workout equipment ...
  • Conversational BalletYesterday I wrote about eating dinner at the country club with my friend Andrea and several members of her network. While the fact that they were politicians and captains of industry didn’t bother me too much (after all, they are still people), one thing did throw me off a little bit…The number of people at the ...
  • Fame and Fortune Yesterday evening, my good friend, Andrea Bernardini, treated me to dinner at the Barton Hills Country Club. At dinner, she introduced me to several of the connections that she had made at the club. Seated at our table was a City Councilmember and his lovely wife and a good friend of theirs who had helped ...
  • The Best Testimony, Part 2 Yesterday we talked about writing the most engaging testimonials for other people. The trick, we saw was to make the testimonial an emotion-filled story (after all, people buy on emotion and justify with intellect) which showed the dire straits we were coping with when our hero came on the scene, what they did to help ...
  • The Best Testimony, Part 1 Everyone loves to hear about how great they are. I can guarantee, if you run a business, the testimonials from your devoted fans are as good as gold. Not only do they validate what you do and give you the warm fuzzies, but it also tells anyone who is considering working with you that you ...
  • Is It Coming Back? You’ve heard me preach on the benefits of tracking your networking practice. How many calls, one-to-one meetings, events, gratitude notes, etc, did you do today? By measuring, you can’t fool yourself into thinking that you are doing more than you are. Now I’m going to recommend one other measurement Track your results. Some of us already do track ...
  • Input and Output Lisa, Kaylie, and I spent a good amount of time this afternoon out planting the vegetable garden. Turning the soil, edging, marking off the beds, planting the seedlings and the seeds, and watering it all down. It was a lot of work and we still have more to do tomorrow. In the end, though, it ...
  • Do Your Homework In yesterday’s post I admitted that I wasn’t perfect (and it disturbs me to no end that no one tried to contradict me ­čśë ). The nice thing is, others can learn from my blundering. I’m only doing this as a community service. Really. So, today’s lesson is on the importance of doing your homework. If you ...