Archive for July, 2010

How Do You Network?

July 12, 2010 6 comments

There is an abundance of literature on the market from some very sharp folks that discusses how to network. Books, audio CD’s, YouTube videos, tips and blogs all spelling out the X’s & O’s. I have read, listened to and watched a number of them and there is definitely some commonality as well as some differences.

In his book Endless Referrals, Bob Burg suggests “providing value” as a way to get people to know, like and trust you. Bob subscribes to a fairly systematic and structured approach to networking. Conversely, in her Rainmaking Made Easy audio CD, Suzi Pomerantz recommends turning networking into a game and letting everyone in just to explore the possibilities. Her approach is much less structured and loose. While these highly successful folks take different approaches, I wouldn’t say either is right or wrong. Each is successful with “their” method. The roots for many of these philosophies can be found in the classics How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnagie and Life is Tremendous, by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones.

Take some time to explore these and other resources, they are well worth the time. Networking is a vitally important skill, so expansion of your baseline knowledge is never a bad thing. You’re sure to learn some new concepts along the way.

Once you have a solid foundation, I am of the opinion that you have to put your own “spin” on it. Like a management style, you can get the basics from the management 101 class, but over time you must develop your own style that aligns with your personality and comfort zone. Trying to mimic a Bob Burg, Suzi Pomerantz or anyone else for that matter will come off as fake or insincere.

We all realize that networking is a valuable skill to have in the arsenal. Building a deep and vibrant personal network can help separate you from the pack. So go ahead and develop your own networking style. So long as you execute the basics, there is really no right or wrong way to go about it as long as it’s “you”.

What style, concepts or tips have you found to be successful?

Categories: Networking