It’s not who you know, it’s who they know!

networking

Networking isn’t all about getting to know people who can just provide direct value. In many cases, the people you network with will not provide any direct benefit because they aren’t famous, don’t have much money, or don’t have a great job. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t network with these people. Instead, get know them on a personal rather than professional level.

Although someone may not be able to provide any direct value to you, it doesn’t mean that his or her network can’t provide any value to you. In many cases they may know rich people or individuals in high places that can provide tons of benefit to you. The only way you will be able to gain any of those benefits is to get to know these people quite well and make sure they like you.

If you’re having trouble with this and don’t want to spend your entire day making friends with everybody, just pay attention to some initial cues. For example, people who name drop a lot usually don’t know many people on a personal level while those who don’t name drop are a better bet. Just pay attention to things that indicate the person is a pretty cool cat and might actually attract a lot of quality friends. This may be a bit hard to do, but you are going to have to keep your eyes and ears open if you really want to find those extremely valuable contacts.

If you want to break through to real profits online, you need some serious firepower. For a limited time I’m sharing some select tips and tricks Amazon, Microsoft, NBC & Hewlett Packard paid thousands of dollars per hour for, FREE.
  • The step by step guide to monster traffic generation
  • The how-to guide for increasing conversions on your website
  • 7 Cashflow killers your analytics tools are hiding from you
     
 
100% privacy, I will never spam you!

Comments

  1. Wise words. While it takes time to get to know where people are coming from, you can usually decrease the degrees of separation by paying attention to clues like the one you mentioned.

    Sometimes the least likely person in the room has the next connection you’re seeking.

  2. Great networking with you this weekend Neil . . . . hope we can meet up in LA some time for lunch!

  3. If you think of LinkedIn, there are 3 degrees of separation. This means that you have to think in terms of your network, their network and so forth.

    • I like the LinkedIn analogy, but I just hate LinkedIn overall. It can be very useful to some people, but it seems like there are too many false connections on there.

      • I agree Neil – the problem with LinkedIn et al is that many people focus on building a big network, rather than developing strong mutually beneficial links. Bigger is not always better!

        Phil

      • That certainly can be true, but it can definitely be a valuable resource. If nothing else, it easily lets you see who your connections might know. Then you can easily ask your friend to drop a line to one of their connections that you are interested in getting to know. Of course if that friend doesn’t really know that person it might not help, but it is certainly better than asking your friends to make a list of everyone they know so you can see if you would like to meet any of them :-)

  4. Who knows what about who has often been called gossip…. lol. One thing I do is to keep a file on people I meet. Nothing fancy…just info like wife and kids names, birthdays, special interests, something that stands out from last conversation. It’s good info and by having a way to look this info up can be a great advantage when you next meet that person or email them. Something as simple as including a “happy birthday” at the end of an email will make you stand out…….

    eric d aka noviceseo

  5. So true! Sometimes even the most unlikely individuals have the biggest and most powerful social circles.

  6. Additionally, it is who knows you well. Most people are too busy or deem it too risky to connect you to anyone they know if they don’t know that you’re a “solid citizen” who will not take away from the great relationship and reputation that they have with their connection.

    If you are a “proven product” in their mind, then they’re more likely to introduce you to those in their contact spheres and then those in their spheres of influence.

    I’m delighted everyday to where some of the best connections come from – even those great decision makers have friends they run around with, see at their kid’s schools, or soccer games or church.

    • This usually is true as long as you give people the time of day. There are some famous people I know who are well known, but they are arrogant and never take the time to get know people, which is why they aren’t well branded or don’t make much money.

  7. Nice post Neil and so true. I can’t even think of all the people I had to shmooz until I finally met you. ;) It was so worth it!

  8. your spot on with this post. it is definately more about connecting people and helping each other out.

  9. I spend a lot of time during the week meeting with people. Mostly for non-business reasons. I subscribe to the mantra of “never eat alone.” I take people to lunch almost everyday because its a great networking tool. Often I will drive to them because I value connecting with people so much. It has been the key to every success or opportunity I have had in life.

    I think it is also very true about name dropping too. Most people I know who know key people don’t do it. It is a trust thing with key relationships.

    Mike.
    http://www.DeadlyViper.org

  10. I agree that, “Networking isn’t all about getting to know people who can just provide direct value.” Most of the people you already know (and their close friends) share the world you live in. They can’t supply anything new because they occupy the same space and know the same things you do. It’s the most tenuous connections (i.e. my colleague’s brother’s barber’s aunt) that offer the most valuable new opportunities. Because the worlds we inhabit are so different.

    For example, if all you know is web design, you probably have a lot of techie friends. Say one of your buddy’s friends, Bob, is a realtor. If you network with the goal of developing a personal connection with everyone, you might have learned that Bob’s circle of friends includes every local realtor within 1,000 miles. And all of his realtor friends wish they had a nice clean website to put on their business card.

    That business opportunity wouldn’t have come up if all you aimed for was direct value when meeting Bob. Instead you connected with him and he shared his contacts with you.

    Without meeting people outside our normal circles, it’s easy to not see what opportunities we’re missing.

    – Pete Kistler

    Director, Brand-Yourself.com
    Brand-Yourself.com Blog

  11. Be the one to be known. The one who even when you are boring, people think its their fault.
    If you go around analysing peoples worth you’ll get spotted and avoided very quickly.
    There is an art- no a gift in being no kicking and screamingly interesting and its being interested and being seen to be interested and importantly getting joy from everything and everyday. THEN, everyone wants a part of YOU. The Baldchemist

  12. I believe it was MSN who did this, correct me if I’m wrong, but there was a study done saying that we are all within 6 degrees of each other. For example, if I would go through 6 people, I would get to Obama. Amazingly difficult to prove, concept seems valid. But with that in mind, you can network with very successful people if you wanted to.

  13. I don’t want to know too many people, because I am tired of communicating with people, especially boring people. So I’d rather spend my time on my business, other than make friends with others.

    But sometimes I do feel it is a great thing to have some friends.

  14. I believe it was MSN who did this, correct me if I’m wrong, but there was a study done saying that we are all within 6 degrees of each other.

    • Yeah it was done a while ago. It’s not a valid or proven theory, mainly because it’s almost impossible to say, but it seems to be quite accurate.

  15. For example, if all you know is web design, you probably have a lot of techie friends. Say one of your buddy’s friends, Bob, is a realtor. If you network with the goal of developing a personal connection with everyone, you might have learned that Bob’s circle of friends includes every local realtor within 1,000 miles.

  16. Yeah it was done a while ago. It’s not a valid or proven theory, mainly because it’s almost impossible to say, but it seems to be quite accuratereally platonik.info

  17. Chetan Rajani :

    SCHMOOZING FOR DEALS, DOLLARS, AND DATES
    Totally agree with your ideas making “friends” with people who have lots of friends. When I lost my cushy government consulting contract and ended up on the street without a network of agency people, friends said, get out there, man, put yourself in harm’s way. I went to some formal networking events and hated it: felt awkward, out of place. There was an air of desperation there, in both the film and business events, and then the disheartening realization that you were all wannabes exchanging cards you’d never follow up on, and suspecting that real deals were happening elsewhere.

    Then, a few years later, I was blessed to meet Sam (his real name–he’s never going to see this, he’s out shaking hands and making conversations!). I could sit in Starbucks all day and never talk to anyone. But you sit with Sam, and mini parties erupt: people stop by, he brags about how smart you are and why they should work for you, gorgeous, and I mean gorgeous, women come by and exchange Italian style kisses with him, while totally looking down at you. Now Sam’s no Mr. GQ. Looks more like Stanley Tucchi, except taller, but wow. I’ve seen him get phone numbers out of women as though he had hypnotic power over them. Once he called me for help: we’re both born-again Christians and a young woman was hitting on him and he felt he was going to cave in though he was engaged!. For some odd reason Sam took a liking to me. We could never come to terms to actually doing business–though God knows he need some marketing consultation. But I’ve come to accept the other benefits: fun, and contacts. Everything from reliable mechanics to lawyers, to CEOs. and so on.

    So my best tip is: get out there, and look for YOUR Sam. It may take a while but it’s worth it. All you need is one good one.

    Then all you gotta do is master being extremely likable. :)

  18. So true! Sometimes even the most unlikely individuals have the biggest and most powerful social circles.

Speak Your Mind

*