An excellent book that cuts through the noise of how to network.
Clearly, the term Networking is difficult to swallow. I have yet to find someone who embraces it. Most clients seem to put it in the same category as being a “salesman”; smarmy, self centered and bordering on the unethical. They feel that, like sales, Networking comes naturally and needs not be a focus.
An easy way to think less pejoratively, call it CONNECTING.
My experience is that those who consciously connect others and build out their networks are tremendously more successful and valuable to our society. Using Adam Grant’s terminology, they are Givers.
The main takeaways of this book are:
1) Reciprocity/Generosity. Be a giver. Individuals cannot possibly succeed like a team. Ask for help. Build a team by being helpful to others. Find ways to make others more successful. Also, get a mentor! No one will have as big an impact on your business, your career, your life.
2) Set Your Goal. This is the intersection of your strength/weaknesses and your dreams and desires. "A goal is a dream with a deadline." Put it down on paper.
3) Create a Personal "Board of Advisors." Identify those people who can, should, be most influential in achieving your dream.
4) Relationship Action Plan. This is Keith's biggest new take. He gives you a simple idea for a spreadsheet to get your goals achieved. Step one: Identify goals. Step two: who can help? Step 3: How do I reach out to these people?
5) Get Referrals. This is straighforward. Identify connections between those who like you, and support you and those you feel you need to know. Get them to vote for you!
6) Add one new person/week. Sounds simple. Tough to do. Be genuine. Be bold. You have to make the ask. Find something you have in common with them.
7) Don't focus on your self-interest. Focus on theirs.
8) Do your homework. "Spectacular achievement is always preceded by spectacular preparation." -Schuller
9) Make lists of names. Friends, family, ex colleagues, etc. Make sure to add "aspirational" names. If you plan on meeting them, you can do it!!
10) Arrange group sessions. Dinners, outtings, events that pull people together that will be interesting and helpful. They need to see the benefit of coming together with you.
11) Connect with Connectors. Identify those people who are influential and can and can make the referrals. (Lawyers, VC, Headhunters, journalists, politicians)
12) Master the art of small talk. Ask about them? Their vacations, their families. They will think you are fantastic!
13) Stay in touch. Much of the art of connecting is staying in touch. "80% of success is just staying in touch." Plan on an annual/semi annual call/visit/note.
14) Repetition. To get someone to move from a contact to a friend, they need to see you via at least 3 modes of communication: email/phone call/face to face. That is a start. Then ping them monthly (email or call). Then make sure you see them face to face twice a year.
15) Co create. Get others to help you with your problem/project.
16) Be King of Content. Be the person who is a SME. Send out information that will help others. (like a book review?)
17) Be Interesting.
18) Be a Mentor, Be a Mentee. Repeat
Please feel free to comment on any of these recommendations and suggest other sources that might be helpful.