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.

  • 3 Reasons for Systematic NetworkingAre you ready to fly?When I was a computer programmer, my life was all about systems. I mean, that’s basically what a programmer does — create systems so that the computer can take care of repetitive tasks without (much) human intervention. The thing about systems is, it helps people perform consistently at a higher level ...
  • 500It’s probably somewhat fitting that I should be writing my five hundredth post in this blog right after a wonderful weekend celebrating another milestone — Elizabeth’s and my tenth wedding anniversary. You see, what made it a fantastic weekend wasn’t just the ten years of wonderful memories with the woman I love. Of course, that was ...
  • They Don’t Want ItSome days they just aren’t in the mood for a sing-a-long.“I don’t think I want to go, Daddy” You could have knocked me over with an overpriced movie ticket. I had been so excited about taking the girls to see the “Frozen” sing-a-long movie that it didn’t even occur to me that Kaylie wouldn’t want to go. ...
  • The Networker and the Hard WorkerYour network lets you lift heavier loads.Some people just don’t see the point. Maybe they are part of a large organization. Maybe all of their “clients” are internal. Maybe they never have to deal with anyone outside the ivory tower. At any rate they ask, “Why should I bother to network? As long as I ...
  • The Scenic RouteWell, that didn’t work out the way I’d hoped — and that’s OK. For about the past year, I’ve been trying to focus my speaking business on a specific target market. I thought I would try career resource departments at various institutions of higher education. It seemed like a good fit. I love working with the ...
  • Forward Behavior: Check the FactsMaybe they should have checked Snopes.com firstTo quote Dennis Miller “I don’t want get off on a rant here, but…” A few years ago, I wrote a post about being a responsible forwarder — someone who forwards articles of interest to other people in your network. While this can be a fantastic way to stay in ...
  • The Network ProvidesThey say, every once in a while, we should count our blessings. We really need to appreciate all we have in our lives and know that we need to be good stewards of all the good things we have. I also like to count my networking blessings. Similarly, it helps remind me to take care of ...
  • Making the MagicI love Christmas. I love the presents. I love the food. I love getting together with family. I love the whole thing and I have loved it my whole life. When I was a child, Christmas was pure magic. I believed in Santa Claus and every year the lights on the tree just lifted my heart. ...
  • Limited Networker Field Guide: The Gray-Crested Moral AmbigueThis is the another in the “Limited Networker Field Guide” series. Name: Gray-Crested Moral Ambigue Environment: Frighteningly common in all walks of life. Behavior: The Moral Ambigue shows up at networking events, businesses, and social events. His camouflaged markings make him appear much like any other attendee. The main distinction happens when he starts to regale you with ...
  • Networking Pride and PrejudiceI love the A&E miniseries of “Pride & Prejudice“. There, I’ve said it and you may now proceed to call me a sissy-man. Just remember I also have a fourth-degree black belt. Joking aside, I do really enjoy watching this story and do so usually at least once per year. Great dialog. Great characters. Great story. One of ...
  • Knock Knock NetworkingOn a long drive back from our family vacation at Mackinac Island, stuck in holiday traffic, we made the grievous error of introducing my daughters to the joys of “Knock-Knock” jokes. I’ll let that sink in for a few moments. I love my daughters, but they have the sense of humor that most children have which says: ...
  • Networking Muscle MemoryI was toast. I was testing for my first Black Belt. The required form had 84 moves in it. Even if you only wanted to pass, you couldn’t make any memorization mistakes. I was in the middle of my examination when I suddenly realized I didn’t know what move came next. I was about to panic. Then ...
  • Beyond the Networking HoneymoonBe an outstanding member of the group.They are the networking dabblers. You see them at the local Chamber breakfast. Then you don’t. They show up at the lecture series. Then they’re gone. They join your referral passing group. Once again, they vanish. They hear that a particular networking venue is the place to go to grow their business ...
  • The Professional NetworkerIt was time. Or at least my wife said it was time — time to update my office. Of course, being a guy, I saw nothing wrong with the mish-mash of hand-me-down furniture and cheap particle board shelves I had been using for the last twenty years. I mean, everything worked (mostly). Why did I need ...
  • Are They Clients or Connections?You know more about them than this, right?Is your network a network or just a list of names? What I mean is, if you suddenly decided to leave your current job or business right now (or someone else decided it for you), would you still be able to call upon your network for assistance? If you are ...
  • Always Confirm EverythingSometimes it makes sense to follow the rules.It seems to happen every time. Every time I violate one of my networking rules, it seems like I get a “gentle reminder” from the universe about why I have these rules in place. Today my object lesson was on the importance of confirming all aspects of networking meetings — one-to-ones, ...
  • Do You Need to Network?If you are looking for me on Oct 8, 2013, look hereYou don’t need to network. I’ll be speaking at the Michigan Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (MISHRM) in October and that is exactly what I’ll be telling them. Of course, if you aren’t in Human Resources, this post has nothing to ...
  • Count Your CardsWell, that was a little embarrassing. This past Thursday and Friday I was at an event with a lot of networking potential. No, that wasn’t the embarrassing part. I chatted with a lot of people. No, still not embarrassing. After a short chat, almost all of them said something that made me want to crawl away ...
  • Refill Your Networking Gas Tank“That’s all I can stands, cuz I can’t stands n’more.” — Popeye the Sailor I recently attended an amazing program called “Media Mastery Bootcamp” put on by Shawne Duperon of ShawneTV.com. It was a two-day, intensive workshop to prepare you to be interviewed by a reporter on camera. The information was great — as is everything ...
  • Do They Get a Second Chance? Just how long have¬†you been waiting for their call? “Should I call again?” I get this question a lot in my workshops on following up after the event. Usually the person who asks has gone to the trouble to call or email someone they met at a business gathering. Basically, they left a message and are waiting ...