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Monday, May 25, 2009


Deepening Networking Through Relationships
with Christine Sotmary, M.S., L.Ac., CPC

I'll be the busy networking professional today. We are having a holiday, so I gave my networking friends the day off.

I'm sitting outside on this sunny Memorial Day in the U.S.A., a day set aside to remember our military men and women. I got to thinking about how many additional groups deserve to be remembered and acknowledged. This isn't a competition, after all, I trust that our hearts can hold all of them. Starting with the hundreds of years of soldiers leaving homes to go off to often dangerous places, we can remember all the friends and families they left behind. Then there are the loved ones who cared for those many service people who came home injured or emotionally altered by their experiences.

Why discuss this in a networking publication? Because……people like to be remembered, respected, appreciated and acknowledged. It's human nature. When I remember the support persons that live in the shadows, behind the "main event", I open a world of giving and receiving. Some of these contacts may be good for our businesses but all of them are good for our souls.

Christine's 5 Networking rules for remembering the people in the shadows:
* I always get to know the support staff. They often are the ones with the "boots on the ground" information to make my life a little easier.

* When I remember, which isn't nearly as often as I would like, I make it a habit to ackowledge people who are quietly making this world a better place, such as medical teams, office workers, and cab drivers, thereby bringing sunshine to them and often opening the doors for me.

* I find the value in the people behind the scenes and marvel at their talents and skill sets. Let's see, in just the theater, there's the lighting, sound, costumes, makeup, hair, stunts, special effects and the list goes on. As I work on my projects I network to find the best folks and value their roles as much as my own. I would be a very lonely bass player if I hadn't found the talented musicians I work with.

* I love working on projects with a team. Divas are usually out front but the task of collaborating goes to the team making an event come to life. When was the last wedding you attended where things flowed effortlessly from one activity to the next? It takes teamwork to make things run that smoothly.

* I've learned that all of this is networking. Trying to contact a CEO without befriending their gatekeepers is a tough road to travel. I look everywhere for connections and by doing this have seen my network grow in depth and effectiveness in a relatively short period of time.

When we are able to see the value in all of our contacts and realize that it takes time to earn their trust and respect we can start growing a solid network of resources that we can count on later. It's like having a savings account of sorts, standing ready when we need it.

Just the other day I was able to give a friend 3 referrals only minutes after she finished a conversation with someone who was going to help her double her business sphere. Their deal was based on her quickly being able to fill 6 job positions and I was immediately able to help her with 3 of them. These were all support and service slots and I had gathered these connections over the last several years of networking. I was happy to be helping so many of my contacts find work, while helping my friend expand her business at the same time. Win, win for them and a win for me too!

So the lesson for me is to befriend the folks that are often forgotten, value them, acknowledge their talents and skills, work in teams with them and take the time to grow strong relations for future connections.

For more information you can sign up for my 3 newsletters or contact me at:

You can also read more at my 2 blogs:
You can also purchase my book at:

Posted to THE NATIONAL NETWORKER (TNNW). All rights reserved.

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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