Had the pleasure recently to interview Carl E. Reid about his book, 10 Powerful Networking Secrets of Influential People. The book gives some insightful tips on networking, and leaves you with ideas you can implement today. I really appreciate Carl’s heart.
In the book you re-tell a story about your wife and a $700 phone bill. Why was that story important then, and still is today?
High tech is no substitute for HIGH PERSONAL TOUCH. Using the phone to stay in touch with people in your network, especially 5 star connections, is the next best thing to “in person” meet-ups. In the mid 1990’s telephone companies were charging per minute rates. My wife was livid every time I paid a $700 to $800 monthly telephone bill. After a couple of years she once commented “you’re always calling people, but very few call you. When they call, they usually want something”. The jaw dropping look on her face was priceless when I responded with “honey, if anything ever happens to me you can call anyone in my contact database and they will help you, without hesitation”. I never again heard another word from my wife about the telephone bill. Pinging people via a telephone conversation or even leaving a voice mail is a personal high touch way of closing the distance gap, no matter where a person lives around the world. It makes for warmer, trusted relationships.
The process you advocate is very organized. What benefits would someone gain by being organized?
Hollywood director, Steven Spielberg said it best “Success is when opportunity meets the prepared mind”. To achieve any worthwhile personal or business endeavor, nimble planning is required. Opportunities can be created by a definite plan of action with completion dates and enough flexibility for unexpected situations. Networking requires organization with scheduling events, reaching potential connections, follow up and most importantly you have to nurture relationships regularly.
What are your thoughts on the current state of networking-on-line and off?
Trusted business associate and author of book “Win The Race For 21st Century Jobs“, Rod Colon says “networking is to a business career what oxygen is to life. You won’t last long without either one”. More than any other time in history, networking in the 21st century plays a vital role for accomplishing personal and business goals. Most people misunderstand networking as being performed only when you need something, not as life time continuous process. Whether networking on-line via social networks on the Internet or meeting people in person (off-line), the trip wire is only focusing on what you want to get out of the relationship. Zig Ziglar says it best “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. When meeting people on-line or off-line the most powerful networking statement anyone can say is “How can I help you?”.
Chapter 10 of the book discusses the “Rainmaker.” How important is it for an individual to become a rainmaker?
The truth is anyone has the potential be a Rainmaker. More salary income increases, recognition promotions, job security and business opportunities are bestowed on Rainmakers, before other employees or business owners. Everyone is expendable at work. Being a Rainmaker creates the very cool perception of you being INDISPENSABLE in the minds of those key decision makers. When I was consulting at a high profile bank, I was still left standing when the layoff axe swung at 2,000 employees and other consultants around me. When I asked the director what kept me from getting axed, he said “you provide value beyond what we hired you for and as I’ve seen your networking in action, I think you have people in your network I might need if I get laid off.” The hallowed title of “Rainmaker” is not always bestowed upon the swiftest, fastest, smartest or toughest.
Do you have any stories of networking gone wrong?
During a conversation, just beyond a brief introduction at a networking event, this person says to me “I just realized you can’t help me. Would you mind if I moved on to meet other people?” Without blinking, I say “No problem. Great talking with you.” As he turned away from me, I burst out laughing. He looks back in my direction with a puzzled look and asks me “what is so funny?” In “cool hand Luke” style I say “You’re right, I can’t help you. But I just thought of 3 people in my network who might may be able to help you or be interested in your service.” Once he lifted his jaw off the floor, he tries to back pedal to justify his previous statement. It was so obvious he wanted the names of those people I knew. I cut him off and said “I’m sorry, I have to meet some other people who might need my help”. I turned abruptly and left him standing there. The moral of the story is EVERYONE can potentially be gateway to other people. The pizza delivery person, the UPS guy, a per chance meeting in Walmart, your child’s tutor or the office janitor may provide gateway connections to other people just as easily as those people in your immediate circle. Never discount the value of anyone you meet.
With corporate travels from the mail room to the board room, Carl E. Reid knows what it takes to be successful. An early adopter of Intrapreneur career management, Carl has over 46 years of business experience, including 32 years as a technology expert, 22 years as a business career coach and 25 years as a successful entrepreneur. Carl has been a professional blogger and social media strategist since 2004. In addition to being a sought after speaker and published author, Mr. Reid has coached and inspired hundreds of people to land jobs and start successful businesses. Carl is Executive Director for Empowering Today’s Professionals, career management educational non-profit. Working with over 50 companies in diverse industries during a 46 year business career, some of Carl’s clients include IBM(technology consulting), JP Morgan Chase (global banking), OXYGEN (TV/media), Sotheby’s (auction), New York City Health & Hospitals, Shearman & Sterling (legal), McGraw Hill (publishing), Moët Hennessy – LVMH, Insurance Services Office.
To get a copy of 10 Powerful Networking Secrets of Influential People visit www.10NetworkingSecrets.com – Contact Carl via email [email protected]