Networking Nugget 6 – The Plain Truth About Networking
The Plain Truth About Networking
One of the golden rules of business has long been, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”
Although this little piece of advice has significant implications for all of us, it begs the more important question: “Who don’t I know, and what and who do they know that I should know?” Of course, the logical follow-up is, “Where and how do I get to know them?”
You can’t always leave your home or office with the sole intent that you are going to run into someone and create a network opportunity. Staring at name tags is more likely to create a sore neck than it is an important business or social connection. That said, you should also be prepared to network when an unexpected opportunity arises. Know your own elevator speech. Always try to smile, and always be aware of what is going on around you.
The following story comes from the late Bruce Dorskind concerning an unexpected networking opportunity:
“One of my most successful connections occurred under the most unusual circumstances, and it is worth sharing because we turned an innocent question into an important opportunity and eventually into a long-term relationship.
“Back in 1980 long before I even knew what networking was one of my great passions in life was collecting rare old baseball cards. Back then, baseball card collecting was still an under-the-radar hobby and it was difficult to communicate with other collectors except at shows and most of those were limited to one’s local area. For me personally, there was a great deal to learn and very few people to learn from. One of the most knowledgeable people in the world was a British collector named Sir Edward Wharton Tigar.
“Well, as fate would have it, I was doing some research in the Print Room of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and looking at some rare cards. Unexpectedly, someone asked to borrow some yellow paper and my pencil. The accent was distinguished and unmistakably British. As I turned to my new colleague I stated, ‘You have an English accent. By chance do you know that distinguished British card collector, Sir Edward Wharton Tigar?’
“To my astonishment he replied, ‘It is I.’ And thus began a seven-year friendship (until his passing). A wonderful interchange of knowledge, a few card trades, and some lovely social evenings. As it turns out, Sir Edward was a world-class thinker and one of the most interesting people I ever met (certainly the most interesting I ever met by accident).”
*In our Nugget on the 2-2-2 strategy- I realized I need to be clearer on the objective:
As a quick review:
Attend 2 meetings of a group to see if it meets your specific wants and needs.
Meet at least 2 people at each event and exchange contact information.
Arrange 2 follow up meetings with the people you met at each event-so it really multiplies with expanding your network from your efforts, initiative and follow up. And don’t limit yourself to only 2 people, it is a starting point.
Take this nugget and make it work for you in your own style and action power.
Andrea Nierenberg President of Nierenberg Consulting Group