by Phil Berg on April 12, 2013 · 1 comment

Crowd 1“I’m an experienced networker.” I meet people that say this almost on a daily basis and I find it rather amusing. Why? Because 9 times out of 10, they aren’t what you should call an ‘experienced networker.’

Let me tell you the story about Simon, an Interior Designer that I met at a mutual friend’s party a few weeks ago (his name has been changed – or maybe not – to protect the innocent). He claimed in a very boastful, almost arrogant way, to be an “experienced” networker

My lovely wife and I were invited to the birthday party of a friend that was celebrating a big birthday – as they are the same age as my wife and I, let’s call it a 30th birthday party.

It was an intimate occasion with about 20 of us attending. The early part of the evening was lovely as we naturally chatted away with good friends who we have known for a very long time.  The drinks were flowing nicely, the nibbles were being devoured consistently and the atmosphere was nice and relaxed.

About an hour in, we heard the call we were all really waiting for… “Come through to the dining room, sit yourselves down and get ready for the real food.”  Not sure if it is just me, but in situations like this, we all normally check out who is sitting where and to try and sit next to our “best” mates (go on, admit it, you do it too). By the time I walked into the dining room there were only 2 seats left and I ended up sitting next to Simon, who, I found out, was an old university mate of my friend.

So, here we go…

“Hi, my name is Phil” 

”Hi, my name is Simon”

Interesting so far, huh?

After going through the usual set of networking questions using: who, what, where, when and why, we end up talking about “how” Simon gets his business.

“I’m an experienced networker and I get quite a bit of business from networking”  he (kind of arrogantly) stated!

This where it got interesting.  I asked him what being an “experienced” networker means and he simply said that he attends at least 4 different networking events each and every week.  Funny how he got a little agitated when I suggested that the fact he networked a lot didn’t necessarily make him an “experienced” networker.

I asked him how many hours per week did he spend on achieving results from networking (note that the question doesn’t simply ask how many hours per week were spent on doing networking).  When he worked it out, I then asked him if he honestly felt he had achieved the financial result that his efforts had deserved – his face was a treat at this stage, I hasten to add!

In fairness to Simon, he became very responsive and receptive to suggestions I made ……

  • Know why you are networking
  • Have a deadline to achieve it
  • Select where you network
  • Target who you network with and go deeper, rather than wider
  • Don’t have a ‘scattergun’ approach. It’s not the business you get that you should be excited about, it’s the business you could get if you did it better, that you should get excited about
  • Do less, do it better, achieve more!

From that moment, he understood that he networked a lot but that didn’t make him experienced. Just getting ‘something’ from whatever it is you do to try and help your business become successful doesn’t mean that it is necessarily working. It is far better to do less and achieve more, don’t you think?

Phil Berg
Phil Berg – International, Motivational Speaker. Helping companies and individuals around the world, present and network more effectively, resulting in increased profitability. Phil is practical and speaks the same language as his audience. He will inspire you to be even more successful with his “easy to do” actions and thoughts.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Paul Hickman April 17, 2013 at 11:57

Hi Phil,

I like your article and agree with your points, apart from the wording you’ve chosen. If you have done something a lot, you have therefore experienced a lot of it and are actually experienced at doing it. So in your example Simon is, in fact, an experienced networker, this doesn’t mean he is an “accomplished networker”, or a “proficient networker”, or even a “successful networker”, but he is experienced.

All the best,


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