Networking: The Technique Smart Networkers Use Meeting New People |

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People struggle to meet and get to know new people because they don’t know what to do to meet them and get to know them. Here’s what to do.

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You know, people hate the noetwork and it's primarily because they don't like meeting new people. They're afraid. They get embarrassed. They don't quite know what to do.

Now, I worked in recruiting for more than 40 years. I became a business owner many years ago. Part of the way I built my business was with networking. I wanted to get people to know who I was, get to know, like, trust and respect me for what I could do, and how I could help.

When I first started out, I had many of the same feelings. I have been one of those wall huggers-- you know, the people who are always on the periphery, standing there with the beverage, and not really talking to people. As much as I'm perceived as being outgoing (and I am), certain situations were intimidating to me. Is that true Of you, too?

Here's what I want to encourage you to do. It's kind of like an interview. If you've seen any of my videos, you know, from an interview perspective, what I've always said is, the more they talk, the more they like you.

So, the goal that you want to have in a networking situation, is to ask questions that allow people to talk more because the more that they talk, and the more interested you appear to be in what they are saying, the more they're going to like you.

Initially, this could start off with approaching the group of people who are having the conversation, and just kind of lingering on the outside. And you know, someone's going to move away, and you can move into their spot. You can just keep listening for a while.

Then comes the first curious question. You ask a question that's designed to move the conversation, or to get someone to tell you why they have that view of something. You know, it's a social scenario so you want to get folks to talk. As you're standing there smiling at their answer, they're viewing you as being an engaged listener. That's a good feeling for the speaker because if you appear interested, they want to tell you more.

From that, you can listen some more, ask another question, look over at other people engage with them and, suddenly, you have an engaged group. As it starts to evaporate, you might just simply walk over to one of them and say, "Can I have your card?p Could I offer you mine? I'd like to pick this up on another occasion." Nothing about asking for a job. Because the real work in networking isn't in that first connection. It's in the second and third touch.

For example, I belonged to a networking group called BNI-- Business Networking International. Thousands of chapters around the world. Enormously successful. In BNI,they have a philosophy called "Givers Gain." You want to offer referrals to the members, knowing that the more you give, the more you get. The more you're of service to others, the more that they like you, trust you, respect you, and want to do for you, too.

Theyhat's going to do the same thing in your career as well. You see, effective networking isn't about being transactional. That is, I talk to you for three minutes and then you say, "Do you know about any jobs for me?" No. It just happens as a part of natural conversation.

So, if you were to meet with one of these folks afterwards, you might just simply say, you might say, "Tell me about what you do? Where are you working now? What's it like there? What do you like about it?" It can be a simple coffee conversation or a conversation over drink. Make it time limited. Simply, as you're making the invitation, "Maybe we could sit there for 40 minutes so I can get to know you a little bit better, see where I might be able to help you."

From there, they'll reciprocate to ask about what you do, how you go about doing. Maintain another touch with them at a point a few weeks later. Nothing big and dramatic, but it just puts your memory in front of them again.

With time, folks will start throwing leads your way. Not always. Nothing works as often as we want it to work. But, the truth is, if you do this, just remember this one thing--70% percent of positions are filled as a result of networking and, of that 70%, 70% of them (or 49%, in total) are filled as a result of introductions to people that your network knows you don't.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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3 Responses
  1. almost401

    Love it Jeff its practical advice like this job seekers are missing. I will be sure to refer you when I have the chance 🙏🏽

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