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.

  • 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 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 large event by looking at it ...
  • Networking at the Convention: What 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 can limit your success. If you’ve ...
  • 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 ...
  • TMI OK, 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: Worthlessness You 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 All Sometimes 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 Front I 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 Product Didn’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, ...