I was asked recently about how to network. You know, that smarmy slimy act of swiping someone’s business card so you can endlessly harass them until they buy your stuff.
Or… there’s a better way…
Way back in 2008, I wrote up a (rather chatty) blogpost where I included the “rules” of networking relationships because of a situation that happened where I was working with a new account manager at a recruiting agency. He asked me some interesting questions about networking and adding people to my “network” (like its a jar of butterflies or something)
After a bit of thought, I replied to him that while I am very open about adding people to my network, I build my network very carefully and treat it not as a means to an end, but as a thing in-and-of itself, to be developed, cultivated and nourished for the value it inherently has.
“These are people,” I told him, “with hopes and dreams and passions. If you can tap into that, without violating some simple rules of relationships, you will have an inexhaustible supply of resources at your disposal.”
And, those Rules of Networking Relationships?
- GIVE 10x to your network before you ever ask.
- SEEK to become known as a Super Connector — the one people go to when they need to know people.
- ENRICH the experience of those you are in contact with.
- CLEARLY INFORM people in your network that you’re asking for something when you do. Sneaking a favor into a conversation is hardly the way to go. Being shy about it doesn’t work either. Call or connect with them, tell them you need help, and ask them precisely for what you need, and then LISTEN and DO what they recommend.
- THANK them gratuitously for their help. (Yes, I used gratuitously on purpose… look it up)
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