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.

  • Beyond the Tipping Point Sometimes the tipping point can be trouble Yesterday we talked about the word-of-mouth tipping point. This is the moment where our networking starts rolling almost under its own power and the benefits start rolling in almost without us having to try at all. Believe it or not, this can actually be a mildly perilous time for some ...
  • The Word-of-Mouth Tipping Point After you get past that first hill things get exciting. Networking is slow. There I said it. It’s the dirty little secret of the word-of-mouth world. If we are looking for a quick fix in the level of business we receive, this is not the path for us. Networking is work. We must make the initial connections, develop the ...
  • The Failure of Prioritizing Behavior Do you spend your time on networking or work-working? One of the challenges of networking in a business context is trying to prioritize where we devote our time. Which is more important, the networking or the work? To solve this quandary, many folks try to prioritize their behavior. Now, I think that prioritizing is a great practice ...
  • The Networking Focus I’ve been training in the martial arts for about thirteen years now. In that time I’ve learned a thing or two. Sometimes that lesson happened at the same time as someone’s foot connecting to the side of my head. If you can avoid lessons like that, I highly recommend it. One of the hardest things for new ...
  • Event Review: Lunch Ann Arbor Marketing A lunchtime one-to-one had to cancel suddenly this week. That left an opening between two meetings with nothing to do. Fortunately, it was Wednesday and I was in downtown Ann Arbor. That meant Lunch Ann Arbor Marketing (LA2M) was about to start. Here’s a quick review. Name: Lunch Ann Arbor Marketing (LA2M) Organization: LA2M Location: Conor O’Neill’s Celtic Room, 318 ...
  • Someone Like Me Networking is all about creating connections. We seek out commonalities in order to bridge the isolation that almost everyone feels at one time or another. In fact, some of the best event techniques involve asking questions in order to find those common points of interest. As a result, we end up with a strong, supportive ...
  • Stand Up and Speak (Well)! I was at a great networking event today (more on that at a later date). As a part of this event, we had a “pass the microphone” segment. A lot of events do this — with or without the microphone. For some reason I got caught up in watching the various behaviors as each person ...
  • Knowledge versus Belief Who else is behind this victory? One of the challenges of networking for a lot of people (including myself at times) is the old knowledge versus belief problem. We know that the best long-term strategy to succeed in our business and personal life is developing strong relationships through networking. The problem is we don’t always believe it. What else ...
  • Their Favorite Words I think I’m on page 3 My good friend Sandy Pirwitz, Assistant Director and Trainer for BNI commented on my post of a couple of days ago regarding other networking opportunities afforded by the various social media sites. Her whole comment is great, but there was a specific part that stood out to me. She said: …For ...
  • Setting the Example We can only point them to the path. They have to walk it themselves. I was speaking to a friend of mine a few months ago about networking. We were talking about an event he had attended recently. He had walked out feeling frustrated because, as he put it, “no one knows how to network right.” He’d ...
  • Is Facebook Networking? I just finished with my nightly forays into the world of Facebook. I usually spend fifteen or twenty minutes checking in on what my friends are doing and seeing if anyone else has “liked” my Reluctant Networker fan page. The question remains, though, can we consider Facebook (or any of the social media sites for ...
  • What’s in a Name? I had to go in for a root canal today. Now, I know for many of us the words “root canal” bring up images of profound torture — of agony and vulnerability which sear the soul and bring grown men to tears. And a good many of us have never had to go through the procedure. So you ...
  • Sales, Marketing or Networking When attending a networking event we have three basic attitudes we can adopt. Each has its own advantages. Sometimes, though, the disadvantages of an attitude should steer us in a different direction (especially when we evaluate them from a “golden rule” perspective). Let’s look at the three approaches. Sales. We advertise our services and look for people ...
  • You’ve Got to have Chemistry We’ve all run into this situation. We meet someone. On paper we have everything in common. We should hit it off right away. For some reason, though, we just don’t click. The chemistry isn’t there. Our personalities clash for some reason and sometimes you don’t even know exactly why. OK, sometimes the guy is just a ...
  • Toward Successful Networking I was cleaning out my office tonight when I came across a small book of quotes by the inestimable Jim Rohn. I was flipping through it and reading a line or two at random when I came upon this one: Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals. How ...
  • Good News, Bad News This path goes on forever First the good news. If we want to build a powerful network, we can. There are systems and techniques galore to help us succeed. We can attend the events, make the calls, meet for coffees, send the notes, pass the referrals, and, in general, keep an eye out for the people in ...
  • Conversations, not Pitches Why won’t they just follow the script? My good friend, Jeff Morris, president of CallYourHelpDesk.com and our local Cartridge World franchisee, sent me a link the other day to an article on Huffington Post written by Michael Port. In the article, Port talked about how most people don’t like to listen to or give the dreaded ...
  • On Being Genuine Some folks just set conversational snares I’ve said in the past that truly great networkers almost have to have a split personality. They have to position their networking in a strategic way to bring themselves into contact with their target market and those who serve that target market. Then, when the relationship building part of networking ...
  • Event Review: Networks! As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I attended the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Regional Chamber’s “Networks!” event on Thursday. Thought I would do a quick review. Introductions at the Corner Brewery Name: Networks! Organization: Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Regional Chamber (aka A2Y Chamber) Location: Various hotels, banquet halls, restaurants, golf courses, and country clubs around the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Date: Usually the second Thursday of the month, skipping August Time: 11:30am-1pm Format: Open ...
  • Targeting Success I’ve been thinking a lot about target markets lately. They are such an important aspect of networking that it’s almost impossible to develop a good networking practice without spending some time focusing on exactly who you would prefer to serve. We’ve spoken before about the various benefits of a tightly specified target market — most ...