Sidney C. Walker
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September 2008

Are You Doing Enough Networking?
by Sidney C. Walker


I recently attended the National Convention for Send Out Cards in Salt Lake City which was incredible. They had many great speakers, one of which was Dr. Ivan Isner who started the BNI networking groups in 1985. Here are some tips on networking I got from his presentation.


There is a theory that we are all connected by six degrees of separation. Someone you know is likely to know someone I know, that kind of thing. The reality is that this is not true for all people. The research shows that only 29% of the people are connected at that level. The other 71% are not connected.



Networking is a skill. It can be learned.



You have to block out time to network. Good networkers spend 8 hours a week at it!



Building relationships is farming not hunting.



Give to others first. Finding ways to help others is what creates the relationship. Asking for referrals up front before you have a relationship is what he calls “coin-operated networking,” it doesn’t work.



When you meet people, ask them questions. Here are two examples: “What is your biggest challenge?” (If you know their biggest challenge, you are in a better position to be able to help them!) “What is a good referral for you?”



Profile your perfect client. Be specific when you are asking for referrals, people will add their own general filter to it.



Diversify your contacts, you never know who knows who.



Get out of your cave and meet people! You drive to work in a cave. You work in a cave. You go home to your cave at night. Networking is a contact sport. It is belly to belly.



Refuse to participate in a down economy! We have one every 6-8 years.


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Have a prosperous month

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