Why You Have to Up Your Networking Game.

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I meet a lot of people each and every day.

Recently, I’ve met with some great connectors that I’ve known but not at a networking event. One on one. In their offices for a glass of wine, a coffee or over lunch.

They said they were tired of the old networking game.

The large group networking game was very popular during the Great Recession and its sputter of today. The shotgun approach. In the depths of the Recession any activity was progress. The fire of the recession is not out. The embers are still red hot for the folks who are looking into the fire of losing their jobs. It happens every day, even in these days of low unemployment.

The people I met with are great networkers. Many are much better than I in their ways so I listen to their comments. Maybe I can incorporate what works for them into my ways.

They often tell me that they are networking less and in different ways.

They avoid the large networking events of strangers. People that say the same thing that I hear often.

They say, Hi Hank. I have heard of you. Let’s have a coffee to get to know what you do and how we can help each other. I have taken many of those meetings and few ever work out.

Today, their comments are code for how can I use Hank Blank’s network for myself. They can easily Google “Hank Blank” to find out what I do. Helping each other, to me, means “What can I do for them?” I don’t have time for that because I create my job every day, and it’s time consuming.

It takes time to be up to date on big data, analytics and cookies and blogs and attribution models.

To up your networking you have to move to the other side of the networking street.

Most people don’t see it.

To up your game you need to take networking to more of a metrics approach. I rarely meet people that say “Hank, I know you and follow your content and it gave me some ideas of how I could help you and some folks I can connect you with.”

That would get everyone’s attention and time and more importantly reciprocation. I’m willing to invest in you because you invested in me.

It’s time to stop repeating the networking patterns of the past and try a new approach.

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4 thoughts on “Why You Have to Up Your Networking Game.

  1. Dami Shepard

    Thank you for sharing this. I read this yesterday and had a meeting already scheduled for today with a connection of a connection of mine to pick their brain to gain some “free” knowledge and this was a reminder to reciprocate. I was able to offer them something they needed and it felt great! Your post prompted me to think about what I could do for them ahead of time versus just saying thank you for your time.

    Thanks for making a difference!

    Dami J. Shepard

    VP, New Product Development

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  2. So, Henk – even when I want to “use” the other person’s network I ALWAYS offer first, how can I help you? At least it leaves the person who’s meeting me for coffee with a warm feeling that I asked the question first…. at worst, I give first before expecting in return. And as we know, the principle of reciprocity works…..

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