How to become an Uber-Networker

There is a popular book on the net called “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi. It can be described as the bible of tips and ways to become a super networker. Ultra-fast network users are the top tier of super or extreme networks. If you know the book, it is quite clear that the author Keith Ferrazzi, who tells you how it connects, is in a stratosphere alone. Part of this is the obvious financial opportunities you have to host big name parties, etc., but it’s pretty clear that the man doesn’t just make connections when he’s “eating,” but also when he’s walking, talking, and God knows what else.

So what can make you a super networker?

Two simple (related) things.

The first is to really get to know and remember the interesting points of someone else’s life. Certainly the names of birthdays, spouses and children are minimal. But what does the person do in their spare time? What about the quirks? Do you collect plastic ducks or flamingos? How do they go on vacation? Museums or Beaches? Do you like to read a good junk novel when you are at the beach or are you worried about skin cancer? There are a thousand bits of information about a person’s makeup and interests. The more you know about them, the better you understand them.

Now let’s not lurk. Going to networking events with a pen and a pad of paper, lurking around groups who are talking and taking notes would not only be weird, but also quite scary! Think about the natural conversations you have or engage in with people. Little things are constantly dropped about the person’s interests during the course of any conversation while discussing sports, vacations, business, family life, etc. Finding out how you are going to RETAIN that information is something you need to find out.

Again, taking out a notebook and paper and scribbling or taking out your personal recorder and sticking it on their faces would be a hindrance to the conversation, to say the least.

Here are some ways that might work:

  • Create a valid opportunity to write something. It can be to promise information or to contact them. If you have your business card, even better. Write down the information “Call Joe Tomorrow” on the back, but you know you can quickly write that you just celebrated your birthday, you rabid Bears fan, you like Hummel figurines, you love Coach bags, and so on.
  • You are done chatting, can you walk away and discreetly record some of the information you collected? An appropriate way is if your cell phone has a recording element. So while you’re recording that data, it seems like you’re just making a call.
  • Go to the bathroom or go out to smoke. Write down the relevant information and come back.

The bottom line in obtaining information and retaining it is tact and discretion. Do what comes naturally to you. So now that you have all this personal information, what do you do with it? This is the second thing you need to do to get super network status. Using what you have.

  • This is where you send the birthday card with a personal note, “Hi Suzy, I hope your birthday is great.” Or “I remember it was already your birthday, can I invite you to lunch to celebrate?”
  • Email Frank about that awesome game last weekend (Frank’s favorite team)
  • Write a note to Bob telling him that you remember that he liked the Hummel figurines and that, by chance, you saw that they were soon to be shown at a show. Add the cropped article or web link.
  • Hi Nancy, I remember our great conversation at the last event where you were talking about the problems you had to motivate your people and I came across this article / website / provider, I thought of you and I am passing it on.
  • Good morning Beth, I remember you said you liked (author’s name) books when you were going on vacation and I was at Barnes & Noble and there was a new one. I was wondering if you knew.

And so on. What you are doing is raising the bar with maybe not a friend, but maybe a friendly acquaintance who is aware of what they do in their lives (and isn’t it nice to know that people show genuine interest?) an effort to recognize and support that.

But again, it must be natural. For example, you don’t have to pretend to be a collector of Hummel figurines to simply mention that you saw the upcoming event and thought about Bob and his interest. In that case, you paid attention to their interest and passed on information that supports their hobby. But if you are not a sports fan and are trying to sound like it, it will sound fake and pretty obvious. You can still come up and say “Hey Frank, didn’t you say you’re a Notre Dame fan and they’re not doing quite well this year?” Show that you listened, but are not following their team. And trust me; the fan will be more than happy to inform you.

A quick note on automation. We have many processes available today where you get someone’s name and send out regular newsletters about local events, articles of general interest, etc. This is not bad. It keeps your name and your organization in their minds, yet don’t mistake it for the force of the personal touch, the “I was thinking of you” action. It is something that cannot be automated or falsified.

So these are the two things you should do

  • Understand and collect information about people and their lives.
  • Do something about it. Build a relationship that shows you listened, remembered, and cared for them and their lives.

You are creating a deeper and more meaningful relationship. You are exhibiting a memorable consideration. And it naturally flows that they will want to support you in your business and your success. Think about it. Do something about it. Be honest and helpful in your dealings. And a new super-networker will be born!

Author: admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *