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.

  • Networking or Socializing?Is this networking?For some people, the clue bus doesn’t pick up at their stop. I was at the Selling Smart Workshop last Wednesday. My good friend and sales coach, Joe Marr, puts on this monthly event to help people learn some of the basics of good sales technique. I help as a member of his board ...
  • Networking at the Convention: WhenYou can’t win a marathon by sprinting. In the past few posts we’ve talked about the general concepts of how to network effectively at the convention. We’ve looked at the people you’ll meet and how to connect with them. We’ve dealt with the difficulty of how to structure your time and networking goals at such a ...
  • Networking at the Convention: WhatIt’s like drinking from the firehose. Welcome to another in my series on networking at a convention. You can check out parts one and two if you like, but it isn’t necessary to follow today’s conversation. Today we’re addressing what networking at the convention should be like. It’s a big event and approaching with the wrong attitude ...
  • Networking at the Convention: HowSome people are harder to meet than others at the conventionYou aren’t at the convention for the accommodations — your bed at home is more comfortable. You aren’t there for the food — you’ve got more flavor and selection in your own refrigerator. You aren’t even there for the content — you can find the same ...
  • Networking at the Convention: WhoThe security at this convention is killer!Are you a professional? No, seriously, are you a professional at whatever it is that you do? Here’s the funny thing. A lot of professionals attend these annual events in their field. They call them conferences, conventions, expos, etc. Whatever the name, they hop on an airplane to some exotic destination, ...
  • Getting Better at Ringing the BellWhat’s the old definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, right? When I wrote about my attempts to ring the bell on the carnival game last time, don’t think I took the “insane” path. Every time I went up, I changed my approach. I shifted my stance ...
  • Ringing the BellI heaved the large mallet over my head and with all my strength brought it crashing down on the target. As I lifted my head I could see the small weight hurtling up the track only to slow and then stop about a foot away from the bell. Failed again. We spent the Fourth of July holiday ...
  • Networking and the Big ProjectSince January of this year I’ve been working on a Big Project. It’s my first real audio product, called “Calm, Cool, and Connected at the Networking Event”. This is not an advertisement or an encouragement to invest. In fact, as of this writing, it’s not available for sale. The process of creating this beast was a serious ...
  • TMIOK, so maybe you should hide just a little bit. Quite a while ago I wrote about the need to show “selective vulnerability” with your networking contacts. We need to be prepared to open up a little bit to those around us so that they can connect to us as a human being. It’s that personal ...
  • Networking Mental Trash: WorthlessnessYou are not an empty coffee cup.What are you thinking? No, seriously, when you go to a networking event or show up for a one-to-one over coffee, what are you thinking? It’s largely your mental state which will determine the relative amount of success you experience. So, are you thinking about how you can be of service? ...
  • At the Bottom of it AllSometimes we help them stand,Sometimes they help us stand.It’s not the techniques. Techniques make you comfortable, efficient, and effective, but won’t guarantee networking success. It’s not the events. Events make it possible for you to meet new people, but meeting new people isn’t enough. It’s not the one-to-one’s. One-to-one’s give you the opportunity to deepen the relationship, but the relationships ...
  • Focus to the FrontI think I’ll just check my messages. OK, let’s be honest. You’ve heard the siren song call of your smart phone on more than one occasion. How wonderful to be able to check your email inbox, voice mail, or maybe even read a few posts on the social media site of your choice. When you’ve got ...
  • Process not ProductDidn’t I just clean this yesterday?Just cleaning the desk isn’t enough. I have a number of friends who are professional organizers. They help people who have challenges dealing with the clutter of modern life. The mistake that most of their new clients make is just wanting help to get things organized. That’s part of what happens, ...
  • A Time to Connect and a Time to SellWhat happens when you “door-to-door” sell at an eventNetworking is not the only way to bring customers to your business. You’ve got telemarketing, door-to-door sales, direct mail, and print advertising. Heck, you can even tie a banner behind an airplane and tow it around during the next college football home game. Because networking can take a ...
  • Activity is not ProductivityAre your networking activities leading youdown a path to where you want to go?How much time did you spend “networking” last week? How much of that was activity and how much was productivity? Most people, when they are doing their networking, tend to work on things which aren’t as productive as they could be. I’m not just ...
  • Facebook BirthdaysWhen you wake up to this, you know it’s going to be agood birthday!“Just think of it as being half way to ninety!” This is what my dear friend, Angela Kujava, told me to cheer me up on the occasion of my forty-fifth birthday a couple of weeks ago. It still gives me a chuckle. In addition ...
  • One-to-One Conversations: An EpilogueIf this is what your one-to-ones are like,you’re doing it wrong.It’s not a government form. The purpose of these categories of information we’ve discussed over the last five posts is not to create a series of boxes for you to fill out about your networking partners. It certainly isn’t for you to create an actual form ...
  • One-to-One Conversations: Relationships“So, how’re the wife and kids?” OK, so if we want to bring that into the modern era, that should be “spouse” or “significant other”, but still this old chestnut is the basis for one of the most powerful topics you can discuss in a networking one-to-one — the other person’s relationships. This is the final part ...
  • One-to-One Conversations: EvolutionSo, how do we get there from here?“So, what do you do?” It’s the clichĂ©d question that almost everyone asks at a networking event. Is it boring? Maybe. But boring works and it just might lead to a much deeper appreciation of the other person. This is the fourth in my series on conversational topics for the one-to-one, ...
  • One-to-One Conversations: Future FocusHelp them turn the rainbow into a bridge to theirpot of gold.OK, be honest. You’ve got a dream, right? Maybe it’s a new house or a new car. Maybe travel in far-off lands. Perhaps you’d like to meet your soul-mate. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a genie who could make those wishes come true? Wouldn’t ...