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 Pride and Prejudice I 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 Networking On 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 Memory I 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 Honeymoon Be 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 Networker It 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 Everything Sometimes 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 here You 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 Cards Well, 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 ...
  • Three Strikes Charlie When networking you should always be yourself. You know that. I know that. I mean, if you aren’t being yourself, then how can they get to know you, right? Well, I had an experience the other night which makes me think I need to modify that dictum: When networking you should always be the best version of yourself. So, ...
  • 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: When You 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: What It’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: How Some people are harder to meet than others at the convention You 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: Who The 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 Bell What’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 Bell I 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 Project Since 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 ...