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Saturday, October 31, 2009

UNIVERSAL GUIDE TO NETWORKING: You can't spell networking without K N O W I N G

Universal Guide to Networking with Terry Bean

It's a great and interesting process to tap into universal knowledge to find out what should be shared in these posts. I'm told this month is all about knowledge:

Knowledge of self
Knowledge of your network
Knowledge shared

I run a very large networking group in Detroit called Motor City Connect. We use a very pragmatic definition of networking here: Meet, Understand and Connect- maybe in future months the universe will ask me to focus on meet and connect. This post is all about the understand function.

When I train people I tell them you are not networking unless you are first taking the time to UNDERSTAND the needs of others AND making sure they understand your needs as well.

That is a part of knowing. Let's look closer at knowledge of self. What is it that you are trying to get from networking? More business, obviously, but what else? Maybe you're looking for a new job? Perhaps it's time to find some new vendors. Lots of people use networking to gain greater business acumen. Additionally, networking can help you find new employees, new knowledge of your community, new business partners and more.

Step 1 is to determine what you seek. Once you know what it is that you want, you will be in a better position to ASK (see previous article on knowing for what to ask) for it.

As far as knowledge of others goes; great networkers do three things exceptionally well:

They ask the right questions
They actually listen to the answers
They have a system in place to "remember" who is in their network

The first two play off each other nicely. Ask open ended questions, listen to the answer, ask clarifying questions or take a deeper dive into the appropriate topic. This is truly a skill and one that you can (and should) develop with practice. For training purposes, watch old episodes of Columbo ;-)

As far as the system goes, whether it is a rock solid memory (some people still have those) a database, rolodex or an online tool, you need one. Figure out what information is important to capture from the people you meet and capture it. Even better is to make sure that is "searchable". It's a great thing for all involved when you can effectively play "connector".

The last piece that needs to be mentioned is the sharing what you know. Whether you blog, capture your thoughts on video, do podcasts or just send out emails or status updates you need to share knowledge. In addition to further establishing yourself as an expert, it helps keep you visible to your network.

Hey, what do you know? This post basically wrote itself. Until next month,

Be Connected-

Terry Bean

Terry Bean is the founder of, Detroit's fastest growing networking group. He is also the founder of a business development training firm that focuses on helping people make more productive use of their online and offline networking time. Terry provides training and large scale presentations on networking, social media usage and universal laws.

For more information, please visit Terry's TNNW Bio.

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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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