Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Radio Conversation on Networking

I was a guest on Todd Cohen’s “Let’s Talk Sales Culture” call-in BlogTalkRadio show a few days ago, talking about “Sales Culture and Networking”. I was thrilled to have Steve Smolinsky as a fellow guest. It has been a goal of mine to be on a panel with Steve, who literally wrote the book on networking with his Conversation on Networking partner Kay Keenan.

I invite you to listen to the show using this player or download it to your player of choice.

The radio show itself was a testament to networking, as the four of us had all met through networking. We have all since developed very deep and mutually beneficial business relationships with each other. Todd and I met almost two years ago at an event hosted by Ford Myers. I met the producer of the show, Steve Lubetkin of Professional Podcasting, at BlogPhiladelphia. John Moscatelli had told me the week before in a one-on-one meeting that I should meet Steve, and I suddenly found myself standing next to Steve while we were getting coffee.

As you listen to the show, you will hear Steve Smolinsky and I get into a discussion of how we met. It is interesting that we have different perspectives on how we met. Steve remembers that we were introduced through a strong referral by Jen Antonio Lim, who was co- leader of the at-that-time-very-active Purple Cow Brainstorming Circle. I remember that Steve sent me an e-mail asking if he could post a reference to his newly published book in this blog. Jen later told me she had sent an e-mail to the Philadelphia Company of Friends group telling them about my blog, which is how Steve heard of me. However it happened, Steve and I decided to meet for lunch.

I take a couple of lessons from this “how we met” story:

  • When you meet someone, there are a lot of different “currents” that have worked to bring the two of you together. Don’t depend on one activity to work for you. Do a variety of things: meet with people for one-on-ones, attend events and conferences, use social media, volunteer, write articles, speak. You will find that it all starts to work together to be “greater the sum of the parts,” as the saying goes.

  • Referrals from a trusted third-party make all the difference.

  • Taking a leadership role in a community, or communities, virtual or otherwise, can help you gain referrals from trusted third parties.

  • In the long run, it doesn’t really matter how you meet. It is the relationship you build over time that makes the real difference.

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