Top Ten Reasons Most Networking (Still) Doesn’t Work! – Full Transcript

David Nour
David Nour

David Nour 00:01
Hi everybody, David Nour with my business partner Jenn Cordz back with you for another episode of our Intelligent Growth live stream. Hello, Jenn.

Jenn Cordz 00:10
Hi, Nour, how are you?

David Nour 00:11
I’m great. Thanks. For our audience, it’s good to be back with you if you’re not a active consumer of this content, either live on, let’s see, and we’re on LinkedIn, and Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, or in our podcast, which you can also find on Each week at Tuesdays at noon, Eastern, we share, hopefully unique insights and perspectives on something that we deeply believe in, which is intelligent and profitable growth. We’ve never seen an organization cut its way to growth.

And it’s regrettable that a lot of organizations right now are embarking on this kind of layoffs and cutting people. And I think one of the think tanks did an analysis Jenn I don’t know if you saw it or not, but they talked about the economic cost to the organization is actually greater with layoffs than if it was if they held on to the people and between morale, and between repute and getting those people back. And it just creates a ripple effect. But it seems to be a trendy thing to do.

And we believe in intelligent growth, we believe in profitable growth. We don’t believe in growth at any cost. So if you’re intentional about that growth strategy, and again, this particular article talked about how Microsoft and Meta and Google and the big ones are Amazon are laying people off, Apple has been really steady. They haven’t laid anybody off yet. And they’re very intentional about the revenue per employee as a metric, and really thinking about the operational efficiency in the organization. Jenn, what comes to mind when you think about intelligent and profitable growth?

Jenn Cordz 02:01
Well, really, when I think about that topic, it’s having a plan and allowing that plan to have flexibility that when markets change, or when economies change and things shift that you’re able to shift with them. And it’s not so rigid that you’re not able to flex when you need to, or accelerate when you need to. So it’s it’s you need to be able to speed up or slow down as the market or as your industry dictates, and be really intentional about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

David Nour 02:32
The other thing that I’ve talked about is line of sight line of sight into what’s working line of sight into are we measuring the right things that allow us to move the right levers to act on those things now, not six months from now, we’ve talked about them, we’ll probably do a an episode just focused on leading drivers versus lagging indicators. I often coach leaders, you know, most of us don’t drive by looking in our rearview mirrors, we look at, you know, drive by looking through the windshield.

So you looking at the report from last month last week, last quarter should be one indicator. Ideally, you’re looking at predictive information, ideally, you’re looking at anticipating kind of what we believe is going to happen. And I was talking to a board member yesterday between the macroeconomic trends but also what they’re seeing in AI is combining into the insights to become the insights which they act on. And that’s ideally, that line of sight that most leaders should be able to tap into and ideally a dashboard that really drives their decision making. So data driven decisions, a big part of what we’re going to talk about.

Today’s focus is really on more of an individual and or a team’s set of behaviors. And as some of you may know, I’m launching the next book relationship economics is the green one behind my shoulder. And Jenn’s as well as the third edition completely rewritten. And in it one topic in particular, really stood out for a lot of people in the first edition and commented enough, you know, people commented enough on it that it kept in the second edition. And the more thought about it is as is almost like still as big of an issue and challenge and a roadblock and also think is an opportunity for people, which is this idea of why most networking doesn’t work.

So that’s what Jenn and I are going to talk about, you’re gonna ask me a bunch of questions and hopefully will give you not only just what’s not working, but what to do about it, and how to be more intentional about the relationships you choose to invest in. Jenn?

Jenn Cordz 04:42
Thanks, Nour. So, you mentioned that it was a hot topic in your first book and then in the second edition, and it’s still something that people struggle with in the third edition. Why do you feel that it’s still such a prevalent issue in the business world in general?

David Nour 04:59
so I think you would agree that ever since I don’t know we’re in business school, or university, we’re taught, it’s not who you know, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And if you want a job, you need to get out there and network. And when you find a job, you got to meet all the right people in the company. And if you have an ounce of ambition, you need to network in the community to meet other people and move up the corporate ladder. And so it’s literally been driven into us that networking as a, and it makes me cringe when I say this, but as a soft skill, because we’ve proven that’s not the case, as a soft skill it’s essential.

It’s critical to your personal and professional growth, and your success. And whether you’re an accountant or an attorney, or a you know programmer, or in any plethora of roles and responsibilities, regardless of the season of your career, your network in many ways, directly contributes to your net worth. So we realize it’s important. Yet, Jenn, last time I checked, again, regrettably, it’s not taught in our schools, I don’t know about you, I didn’t take a networking or a business relationship class in high school. And I didn’t take one at a university, and I didn’t take one an undergrad certainly wasn’t offered in grad school. So I’ve gone through 16 years of formal education, not really learning how to network. So I’ve always been baffled. Where are we supposed to learn it? How are we supposed to learn it? Is it from our parents? Is it from school? Is it from a job because it’s also not taught in our companies.

So I would submit to you that we learn it through observation, we learn it through modeling. And it’s amazing how many people model this behavior really badly. So I wrote about it in the first book. As I said, people asked about it talked about it, you know, so I kept it in the second edition. And then the pandemic happened. And it took networking off a cliff because a, we’re meeting in person. And in zoom. I don’t know if you’re thinking or is your video frozen, right. And by the way, we’re still telling people, you’re on mute. And it is awkward, it is uncomfortable. It is most people think of the idea as snake oil salesmanship and there has to be a better way. That’s what’s really driven me to think through and bring this list up consistently that there has to be a better way.

Jenn Cordz 07:35
That makes complete sense. Related to the pandemic and everybody going remote, how would you say that most people do network or were networking in the pandemic, and when they were forced to be fully remote.

David Nour 07:53
So I’m going to delineate that in terms of, you know, intra company, or internal to the organization, networking, and then external. So internal obviously, we all did a whole bunch of Zoom and Teams and Skype. And even companies that weren’t necessarily a video culture suddenly became a video culture. Again, for our audience, digital is here to stay. I know that’s one of those rocket surgery statements, right it a video is here to stay. So the video camera out of your laptop pointing up your nostrils is not a good look. Right? nobody appreciates and benefits from that. And yet three years into this pandemic, we still see it or worst yet the the, what I call the security camera system pointing down at your head from above. And so we still haven’t figured out how to show up at our best digitally number one.

Number two, so we did a whole bunch of kind of forced zooms and, and I hate to say that the lazy people got a huge past to show up, dish shuffled where the hair has not been brushed in a few weeks. And and maybe the clothing hasn’t been changed in the shower. This hygiene thing that we used to own when we went into a physical office or went to a physical networking has been completely neglected. So it goes back to we didn’t we didn’t kind of show up at our best. And then the external ones where you were outside the organization. Same thing, obviously it was virtual. But it was it felt forced. It felt, as I said even more awkward and more uncomfortable than when we you know do it in person. And I just don’t think I think most people if it was particularly people they didn’t know, they gave up on it. And they weren’t as consistent. And it wasn’t something that they prioritized.

And candidly didn’t get a whole lot of value from it. Yeah, it was good to connect. And it was sad to see social distancing become social isolation. And become, you know, because of the pandemic, we didn’t see people, we didn’t go places. We didn’t go to cocktail receptions and, you know, breakfast events and content events. And so it really kept a lot of people at bay. And if you think about particularly Jenn, I’m really worried about this next generation, I talked to one executive who said, his son is on his third job. And he’s never gone into an office. Imagine what that son has missed out on what that young professional’s missing out on in the camaraderie and in the connections and in the authenticity, of seeing someone in person. So I think that’s what the pandemic has done. And it’s created an uphill battle, which is a big reason I kept it in this new third edition.

Jenn Cordz 10:50
Interesting. Well, I would almost counter argue that there are companies that are intentionally fully remote from the get go. And some of those relationships that are fostered and built in those environments are deeper and more impactful than ones that you can get in from going to an office on a daily basis, because it is remote. And you do have to take the extra effort to get to know your colleagues on a different level. I know some organizations, they have full Slack channels that if you join it randomly on a bi weekly basis, you get paired up with somebody else in that channel, and you have like a coffee chat, and you talk about everything except work, and things like that. So I would, I would argue that some intentionally, fully remote companies have done it right, and have done it well, in creating environments that allow people to have deep relationships with their colleagues without ever knowing them face to face.

David Nour 11:51
So no argument. The keyword I want the audience to hear in your statement is intentionality. So if it’s left to be haphazard, that’s exactly the results you’re gonna get. And just like the 10 reasons, you know, we’ll talk about them if you’re intentional about that approach, and as you said, companies who are fully remote, realize that if they’re not going to have a physical location to bring people into, they’re going to have to be more intentional about developing if not nurturing their culture remotely. So the Slack channels and the intentional zoom visits. And by the way, sociologists call this being ambient aware. The reason we feel closer to some people that we’ve had, say consistent, or multiple zoom visits with is that a, unless it’s virtual, we’ve seen their backgrounds.

We’ve seen their pictures of the kids and the books that are reading and oh, what’s that? Is that an award behind you? Or what’s that flag or so the more we learn about them, and their dog jumps in the lap and middle of the call. And so the more we learn about them, the more proactively it helps us nurture that relationship. Hey, how is Buffy and haven’t seen her in a few days? And she’s still there? Oh, yeah, here she is. Right. So it endears us to others, the more we learn about them, as I mentioned, and by the way, the exact opposite could also be true for physical networking events, right?

We go to an event we don’t know anything about the person is meet and greet and whip out the business cards, like as a coupon dispenser, and we leave and we never see that person again. And it’s We could care less. So intentionality. And any depth which with which we get to know others, brings us closer feels and it becomes more authentic, it becomes more real. I know Jenn, right. I know, Steve, because we’ve interacted because we’ve shared, not just how was your weekend, but I’ve gotten to know him or her better, whether it’s virtual or in person. So the intentionality is what makes a big difference.

Jenn Cordz 14:09
Absolutely, great. So we’ve mentioned the top 10 reasons that you’ve put in your book couple times now, if you’d like to share that slide.

David Nour 14:18
Sure. So here’s the list. And it is not only the first chapter of the book, but it’s also in our private online community I’ve shared a couple of different posts, where I’ve broken them down to five each, as well as what to do about them. So I would encourage the audience to check out either the book or our forum for the complete list. And of course, we’ll talk about what you know each of them and what to do about him.

Jenn Cordz 14:49
Perfect. So looking at this list, where do you think people struggle the absolute most?

David Nour 14:57
I honestly think it’s it’s you if I will put up an umbrella over this. It’s something we brought up already, which is the intentionality, right? So a lot of people Jenn think about networking as an afterthought. And the analogy I often use, if you think of bow and arrow, right, the arrow goes through the air towards its target with the arrow head. Yet the feathers kind of control its direction. And, and, and its trajectory. And a lot of people think of networking as the feathers, hey, I’ll get to that. Or oh my gosh, and another event, I don’t want to go and so they’re not the, it’s not you know, they don’t think about, and I cringe when I hear networking, because in the book I also talk about, it’s one letter away from network, you know, not working. But you got to start thinking about building relationships as the arrowhead.

So if I lead with the relationship in mind, hopefully, it will help me do fewer really dumb things that’s going to ruin the relationship. Hopefully, it’s not yet another thing I need to do, it becomes integrated into all that I do. Hopefully, I learn from every interaction good, bad, ugly, indifferent. Hopefully, I grow personally and professionally through that process. And all those hopes are tied together with intentionality. Now, back to the specific list, I would say number three, where there’s really no relationship development plan. So we get out and we go network, you meet someone, I’m always asking, what, So what, now what. What was interesting about this person, what was relevant about this person? What did you get from the investment in this person? And it’s an investment of time, effort and resources.

So what, how are they relevant? How are they, will that play a role in kind of your journey from now to next your journey from, where you’re going and what you’re trying to accomplish? And then, you know, now what, how will you follow up and follow through and nurture that it’s, it’s, it’s amazing how much relationships are like plants, right? If you don’t feed them, if you don’t care for them, if you don’t, you know, nurture them, you should have no expectation that they’re going to bear fruit, or they’re going to give you a flower, or they’re going to stay alive, or they’re going to bring that that pleasantry in your life that that you purchased, hopefully that planned for in the first place. So it really is having a plan. And as you said, working that plan consistently. And it’s really important Jenn that I emphasize this.

My intent here is not to teach anyone how to be more manipulative, or how to use people. It’s really understanding that relationships are investment. And that intelligent growth, personal, professional, organizational growth is going to come from investing in and nurturing that investment. And at some point, getting a return on that investment. No astute investor makes any investment blindly. None of us do. And yet, we network haphazardly, and then expect that network to produce results for us whether it’s solving a problem or find the next job, or getting the next sale or getting an investment. And that’s just not how relationships work.

Jenn Cordz 18:34
I agree. And so helping people shift their mindset from thinking of networking as the feathers on the arrow, in your example, to more of the Arrowhead in the book, I know you have a strategic relationship plan, sort of a blueprint, if you will. Can you tell us more about that?

David Nour 18:52
Sure. So I want to remind the audience that there’s no relationship between logos. There’s no relationship between buildings. Relationships are always between individuals. And every organization I’ve ever met is made up of individuals, as our teams. So I always start by focusing on the individual. And in the book, I talk about the relationship currency roadmap, which is simply five steps. Start with the end in mind, Covey says the same thing. So relationship centric goals are the end result the outcomes you’re after. I often ask people why are you networking? Tell me the bigger purpose why first?

Next, I talk about this idea of pivotal contacts. Who do you need? Who do you need that can accelerate your path to that outcome to that result? Jim Collins of the good to great fame also wrote about, we don’t ask enough who questions well, I’ll take that one step further. Have you throw enough time, effort resources? As Jenn, think about it of any goal, you’ll eventually get there. One of the amazing benefits of relationships is that they can accelerate your ability to get there.

So if you can find that key individual you need in three months instead of six, if you can get the funding for your startup, if you can find the right leader in that geography or that function, you know, sooner, it can accelerate your ability to get to the outcomes you’re after. So pivotal context is all about who do you need, relationship bank is the next step. And it’s all about who do you know, who do you already know, who already knows you likes you trust you respect you that can create access to, or an opportunity with that pivotal contact, to accelerate your ability to get to the outcome. Most of us know a lot more people than we think we do. We’re just really bad at keeping up with them, and nurturing them and sustaining them and being intentional about reaching out to them.

I had literally six executive conversations yesterday. And every one of them, I told them, I said, this year, I’ve made a commitment to stay closer to the relationships that are important to my life, in my life, and you’re one of those. So I’m reaching out, I want to make sure doesn’t have to be a predetermined schedule. But periodically more often, we’ll all get busy right? More often stay in touch. And I want to know, what are you hearing? What are you seeing? What are your priorities? And how can I help? Nothing in that statement says I want to sell you something nothing in that statement says I’m in it for something for me, what I’m doing is I’m investing in these relationships.

But you cannot afford to do that blindly. So that moving on through that process. So again, what are your relationship centric goals, the outcomes, Pivotal contacts, who you need relationship back, who do you know, and this idea of a relationship currency deposit, which is what investment can you make, in the relationships you already have? To then Garner you access an opportunity with a pivotal contact to accelerate your outcome. When you do this consistently, we call that strategic relationship planning. And that’s about you know, it’s about 30 day sprints. I know you like your technical Sprint’s a little shorter, but these are 3060 90 day sprints, what should I be doing in the next 30 days, to nurture to love to support the relationships that are critical to my success. When you do that consistently. Again, we call that strategic relationship planning.

Jenn Cordz 22:40
Sounds like that could help a lot of people. I’m going back to this list. And that strategic relationship planning methodology that you just spoke about covers a lot of these. One of the biggest things that people struggle with when going to networking events is they don’t know anybody they feel uncomfortable and all of those things.

And I mean, number one, and two on this list is lack of purpose and fuzzy goals. Is there something that can be done to help structure both one and two going to networking things because it is part of everybody’s job? But is there something that you could advise people who aren’t comfortable going to networking events, about being more comfortable or being more prepared to show up to these and create purpose and or goals for themselves at these types of events.

David Nour 23:34
So number one, I can I can use what was that show, I can name that tune, you know, I can name that song and one tune or two, tunes, I can name them or I can name those people with one or two glances in the room. They’re standing in the corner by themselves with a glass of wine or a cocktail or a soft drink. And they don’t want to talk to anybody. They don’t really want to be there. So it’s human nature, right? I’m convinced everything we need to know about networking we learned in kindergarten, you remember being kids and being picked for a team. Right? And everybody, like, doesn’t want to be the last person that’s picked.

And you know, so it’s uncomfortable. When we go into places when we don’t know someone, there’s a lot of insecurity, there’s a lot of oh my gosh, who am I going to talk to? I gotta say something stupid. I don’t know anybody here on and on and on. So I think of networking events, I think of relationship development very similar to a theater act. Where there’s before, there’s during, there’s after. Before, my strongest suggestion is do a ounce of homework, right? I’ve been to events where I kid you not? The other attendees have no idea who’s on the program, what the program is about, you know, and you know, I was a shoe in. Or, you know, I don’t have anything else to do. So there’s that have come to this and it’s just it’s the wrong attitude, mindset, and you’re not really setting yourself up to succeed. So do a little homework on. You’re not just what am I going but who’s speaking? What are the biggest this topics, biggest issues, challenges, obstacles, read up a little bit about, there’s typically either a presenter, or typically, it’s organized by an organization, what’s the organization about?

What what are they trying to do? Or if it’s an internal company event, what is this for? It’s, you know, women in our company, or it’s that underrepresented groups, that Latinas in our company, that’s what I’m going to. So read up a little bit about organization about potentially the speaker, and the topic. And what you’re doing is you’re arming yourself a little more ammunition, to intelligently speak about that person, that topic, the organization, right. Also before, nothing worse than, you know, think of a typical networking event, right, they usually set up 30 minutes to an hour upfront for networking, and then there’s a program and then you’re done. Nothing worse than people who show up like five minutes left in the networking session, to just hear the speaker and around leave. People fundamentally gathered for two reasons, content, and community, what can I learn that wouldn’t otherwise? And who else will be there that I can benefit from getting to know? So get out of the office? Get ready, right? Take into account the traffic that’s going to take for you to get there. But there’s traffic, there’s this thing called traffic and it’s back in the post pandemic world, right? So don’t leave five minutes before the events supposed to start? Right?

Give yourself enough time to get there. And then what I’m looking for is, what are they say misery likes company? I like other people who are standing there by themselves with a glass. So I’ll go talk to them. Because they’re equally uncomfortable about being there. Hi. And remember meeting somebody in first day of school? Hi, my name is? And don’t jump right in the business part. Right? How did you find out about this place? What intrigued you about this program? By the way, what do you do? Tell me a little about your firm, Everybody’s favorite subject is themselves. So you want to become more interesting, become more interested. And if you start asking people about, you know, asking others about themselves, you give them and by the way, if you don’t mean it, don’t ask if you don’t care, don’t ask. Because if you ask and then suddenly, you’re scanning the room looking for bigger fish to fry, you’re going to insult that person. So be in the present, be in the moment, for the love of God, stay off the damn devices, there’s no reason for you to be on your stupid phone. When you’re talking to somebody at an event. It’s disrespectful. It somehow tells them you’re more important than they are.

And it’s just, I literally will walk away, you pull out your phone and we’re talking, I have no reason to talk to you. I’m moving on. So do your homework before during be present. Be in a moment be interested, physical or digital? Have your contact information available. Don’t whip it out like a coupon wait for someone to ask, Hey, do you have a card or I’d love to? Are you on LinkedIn, I’d love to stay in touch with you. So I carry both I know old school physical business cards, but also digital ones. And then afterwards, follow through follow up. Hey, delightful to meet you. So I wouldn’t get a chance to talk more, I would love to visit over a cup of coffee. Let me know of your interest and availability. So giving people options, if they didn’t really find you interesting.

Or if they didn’t find value in your conversations, they’re probably not going to want to connect. So I always want to leave them wanting more in our conversations. So I may say I’ve written several books, oh, any of them I’ve heard of maybe but in a coffee I can I will take him a cup, you know, a copy of it, signed copy of it. So those are just some of the tips some of the approaches that I think can help those that are less comfortable than others. We’re all uncomfortable. It’s just like this comfort has a has a spectrum, get a little more comfortable, get a little more in tune with the value of of why you’re going to that event.

Jenn Cordz 29:22
Absolutely couldn’t agree more. In some other networking articles and things that people have written about, they always say come up with a really unique question or like an off the wall question that people at the event may or may not think that you’re going to be asking or any of that. Do you follow the same advice or would you say that asking off the wall questions isn’t the best approach?

David Nour 29:48
Yeah, I gotta tell you I have I’ve read 108 different books on networking. And a regrettably lot of them are very Some transactional, a lot of them are very, they provide a lot of pedestrian, or what I call retail advice. I forget the name of this particular one, but I distinctly remember, I kid you not, you can make some of the stuff up. One author suggests that a bump and grind, I literally had to read this, like twice, they suggested physically running into people at conferences or events. And then in your apology, striking up a conversation. And that kind of stuff makes me cringe, because it’s just, it’s ridiculous at best, particularly for business professionals.

So the comment you made about off the wall questions? No, I don’t believe in the wacky, goofy stuff. What I do believe in is convey your credibility to the questions you ask. And if you’re if you heard if the audience heard what I just said about, always leave them wanting more. They’ll remember your really sharp questions more often than they’ll remember your brilliant ideas. So on the list when I talk about what’s in it for them, or engaging with the wrong people, or not arming them with the right ammunition to intelligently think of you talk about you. I’ve believed and we’ve proven that, in your due diligence and your homework, if you just capture a few questions, that you could ask the speaker or presenter, you could ask about the organization, you could ask others at the event. I think it’s going to set you apart in a in a positive constructive way. So And I gotta tell you, most of us can only handle so much small talk. How’s the weather? I don’t know. Look outside. Did you look at the weather report this morning? What do you think about you know, how’s holidays, it just it gets?

The small talk gets pretty boring pretty quickly, right? Conversely, what what intrigued you about this presenter or tonight’s topic? Hmm. Right? That that that that is going to make the other person think or make the other person. And by the way, their responses will tell you a lot more about the level of due diligence or homework, or how sharp they are with current events. I recently went on heard of CEO of one of the Fortune 500 companies that are here in town, and, and the guy really good guy, really pleasant, personable, but it couldn’t have been more bland, he could have not been more boring, he could have not been more safe. But that’s the nature of the company, it’s kind of don’t rock the boat, and just kind of steady as it goes.

And, and it was disappointing, because he was in a room full of young professionals who he could have inspired and really kind of talked about how to attract this next generation of talent to his organization. You ask someone what intrigued you about tonight, and I don’t know I’ve just been, I’ve been shopping at this company or I’ve been I’ve been I own their stock. And it again, it screams I haven’t done my homework. I don’t know much about the CEO or this the speaker. I haven’t paid much attention to this company or organization. So I believe in intelligent questions, I believe in that I say provocative and in a positive constructive way. But I believe in questions that are going to really convey your credibility and elevate your repute, not not goofy ones that bear no value in that conversation.

Jenn Cordz 33:59
That makes sense. So with this list, and with the advice that you’ve given to people, what would you say would be action steps for people to put this into practice? I know you said on a on a recurring basis, like on a 30 day cycle, if they’ve never done this before, and they’ve never reached out to their network and they’re trying to make a conscious effort to improve those efforts.

It can seem impersonal to just kind of start anything new. What would what would be the best way to I guess, come across as actually genuine, wanting to reconnect with people that maybe you haven’t connected with in the past and trying to foster some of those relationships that you’ve either neglected or you’ve never paid attention to in the past.

David Nour 34:50
So So tip number one, if you if you want to seem genuine, be genuine. Jenn people have a BS radar, I would submit most people see right through it. Right? Why you haven’t called me in three years? Why the hell are you calling now? Right? If they’re not, if they’re not saying it, they’re certainly thinking it right. And by the way, a friend of mine, Jennifer bridges says there’s a southern expression. If if I’m not saying it, my face is showing it, right. If you do Zooms with people, you can see it in their face. Like, what, you know, why the hell are you calling me? So? So? Number and let me delineate my answer into two buckets.

Let’s talk about people you already know people you’ve already interacted with past colleagues. And people in your network, there are you’re known entity to them, they’re known to you. And then the second bucket is net new, by the way, I don’t know, any business that doesn’t need net new talent, net new growth. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t need net new relationships, right? Unless you’re retiring and you’re getting out of business and you’re gonna go, you know, farm rest of your life, even in that world, you’re going to need a network. So net new is that growth opportunity. So with existing people, I’m a, I’m a huge list maker at the onset of the pandemic, I made a list of my top 100 business relationships. And and the first couple months, I literally called and said, just reaching out, checking in on you want to know how you doing? Same thing I said earlier, what are you seeing? What are you hearing? What are you struggling with? How can I help.

And I didn’t sell them anything. I didn’t ask for anything. And I distinctly remember, this, this person is laying people off, this person is looking for people, I put them together. This person was looking for the PPE, remember those looking for masks and gloves and all that this person had some extra I put them together. For for literally the first I think 60 to 90 days, all I did was touch base got a lot of good information passed on a lot of good information, and just connected people who I call them seekers and solvers. Right? What did people need? What what did I know about someone else that needed put them together? So make a list. Use me use this episode, use the book as an excuse, listen, listen to a couple of people talk about their business relationships. I read a book on business relationships. And it dawned on me that I’ve done a terrible job staying in touch with you would love to reconnect would love to set up a call call or Zoom your choice. And most people detest those getting those because they always think you have an agenda.

So I like to actually disarm people, no agenda other than just to kind of hear how you doing and what’s new in your life. No agenda other than get caught up on both sides. No agenda other than just gonna hear, you know, you moved recently, I noticed on LinkedIn that you’re no longer in Chicago, now you’re in San Diego, or you left the company with which we’re interacting, what are you up to now. So disarm them with authenticity, disarm them with genuineness, and, and just as a human beings, connect with others, and get an update and take diligent notes. And there’s some natural laws, Jenn in business relationships, which is, you know, one of them is gratitude, you do something with somebody they should say thank you to is this idea of reciprocity. So if you do something for somebody, maybe not today, next week, or next month, at some point, they should say thank you, what can I do to help you? And then this this idea of paying it forward?

So if I mentor you, coach, you, what I’m watching is are you coaching and mentoring others? Are you none of us are an island? So are you passing on the wisdom, the love the support that others have poured into us? If not, yellow flags go up for me that this person doesn’t really get it. They don’t understand that. Beyond RevOps, they’re they’re fundamentally in the relationship business, right? So that’s where I would start, make a list. Reach out authentically. Add value, connect different people in your life, maybe an undergrad or grad school friends, with a neighbor or someone else that might need something, hey, let me just put the two of you together. Because I think you’d benefit from getting to know each other. And when you do that authentically, not only people recognize it, they appreciate it.

And I’m telling you, they’ll they’ll at some point, come back and say That’s very kind of you. What can I do to help you? I’m glad you asked. That’s not the time to fumble. That’s not the time to go. So, you know, having having a couple things that No more than two or three things that others can do to help you. And you can’t be afraid to ask, this is not the time to be sheepish. That’s very kind of you, I’m glad you asked, you know, my kids applying to, you know, several schools and I’m trying to learn more about that school’s culture. If you know anybody. I’ve just launched a new practice, I would love to talk to others, you may know who are doing this. So have two or three asks, you know, ready to ask them for help. But only do that after you’ve invested after you’ve poured some love and support into others.

Jenn Cordz 40:39
Sounds like a plan. So a lot of what we’ve been talking about has focused on external relationships outside of your respective organization. And unless you’re an independent consultant, and you don’t work with a team of people, internal relationships are equally as important, if not more, so to getting promotions to working well with others, things like that. What would you say is the major difference between networking internally inside your company versus externally with others?

David Nour 41:09
No question. You know, there are there are different, but a lot of the same strategies apply. So So external, again, I might be looking for a customer or I’m looking for someone to hire, I’m looking for an investment. Or I’m looking for immediate relationship, right external organization. Internally, you still should start with a set of, you know, a purpose of why you’re going to network set of goals and a plan PGP. I’ve been an advocate of that now for 20 years. So what’s my purpose, I really wanted to understand the inner workings of our company. Most companies are, are more complex than, you know, most individuals understand believed the nuances.

So I really want to understand how our company works, how our company works in its ecosystem, how our company works against his competitors, how our company works, not just for our customers, but our customers, customers, right? Regardless of what role you’re in a deeper understanding of your company and its ecosystem, its industry, can do nothing but benefit your personal and professional growth. So that’s my purpose. My goal. I’m in finance. And I don’t know anything about marketing. I’m in finance, I have no idea what our salespeople do all day. I’m in finance in us. And I’m really curious about the international markets, and what are they doing? How are they performing better than we are as an example. So that’s my goal is to understand, my goal is to learn and grow through these. And listen, ultimately, let’s not kid ourselves, I’m interested in getting promoted, I’m interested in, you know, getting new experiences, I’m interested in finding a mentor, there’s an intrinsic motivation of why we network.

So be honest with yourself and capture that. And I will also communicate that to the right coaches and mentors and relationships inside the organization. And yet, and then the plan has to be, again, I’m just use one of those examples. I’m an I’m in finance, and I’m trying to learn marketing, or learn more about marketing. Who are the individuals, you cannot do this at a shotgun approach, who in that marketing function is most relevant to my purpose goals and plan to again, I’m not trying to teach you to, you know, manipulate people, but be relevant, be intentional, be focused, you cannot go build a relationship with the entire 2000 person marketing organization.

So pick your battles, pick your fights. Oh, you know, Sarah, in our in our graphic design department who heads up that seems really friendly. Let me go, I’m gonna go talk to her. Sarah, can I buy you a cup of coffee? And just learn, What do you guys do? And how do you do it? And where do these campaigns come from? And what’s Outreach? And what do you do with that? And the sequence and what that’s interesting, how does that work? And so I’m gonna go within the organization and get to know other functions. And in the process, I’m asking them, What can I do to help you? How can I be an asset to you? And they may not have an answer today. But now Sarah, in graphic design has a relationship with Tom in finance. And, and that’s how you start to build cross functional, and hopefully reciprocal relationships inside the organization.

Jenn Cordz 44:43
Sounds like very sound advice. So related, so we’ve been talking about networking successes, and how to go about it and having the plan and the goals and the strategy and doing it very intentionally. What would you say are ways to either recover from networking failures, or what are some of the biggest networking failures that people have?

David Nour 45:10
So again, it all begins with a mindset. And I can’t take credit for this, I’ve learned this from from others, in particular, Gary Reg, who is just retired as CEO and chairman of the board of the WD 40 company, has become a friend, and I love his comment that we don’t, we don’t have failures, we have learning moments. And in networking, you really need to embrace the idea that every interaction I said this earlier, good, bad or indifferent, every interaction is a learning and growth opportunity. So if I, you know, you go to an event, and you put your foot in the mouth, like, you know, classic faux pas by men, right? When are you due? Well, I’m not expecting.

Right, that that you might as well just, you know, tuck your tail between your legs and leave that event, right. So whatever faux pas, whatever mistake you’ve made, it’s never as bad as you think. And and it’s also never as good as you think. So cool, calm collected, is something I coach a lot of people and how they carry themselves. Number two, you know, own it, own it personally own it professionally. I screwed up, I apologize. And it’s everything from calling, you know, a Kyla Karen, I’m sorry, I apologize. I was thinking of someone else or I misspoke and so owning it to the biggest mistake, the biggest, unfortunate thing that I see people do is they never follow up. You go to an event, you meet a great person, you get their business card, and then it sits on your desk. And I don’t know about you, but mine stare back at me. And what they’re screaming is you haven’t called me yet you haven’t reached out you haven’t connected are you going to and then a day goes by, and then three days, and then a week. And then you make this mistake of thinking, well, they’re never going to remember me.

Now there is a freshness date on networking. And my suggestion is within three days, because they can remember somebody that met at some functions six months ago. But bring that sense of immediacy, bring that sense of proactiveness send them a LinkedIn note, send them up. Again, old school, a personal handwritten note, lovely to have met, you really enjoyed our conversation, or follow up to reconnect us for a cup of coffee. So I read some sad statistics, something like less than 40% of sales professionals, right? These are people that are in the business of relationships, ever follow up. So that’s a big one.

And then you know, learning from each one and committing to yourself not to repeat that at the next event. You know, I should have carried mints with me, I should have you know, talked less, I was very verbose in the last one should have asked better questions. Well, it’s okay. Next one. Next time. Put a mint in every, you know, coat pocket that you have, but, you know, commit yourself to talking less, ask better questions next time. And this comes with because it isn’t trained, because it isn’t taught. It’s gonna come from a repeat experience, and you continuing to get out there and engage relevant people.

Jenn Cordz 48:54
I agree. So on this list, I think we’ve covered all of them. Is there any insight or thoughts that you just like to share with the audience? I’ve peppered you with a whole bunch of questions. But is there anything that you’d like people to take away from this session related to networking and reasons it doesn’t work? And then also the all the great advice you’ve given on ways to make it work for you?

David Nour 49:18
Yeah my last one kind of hits this, this, you know, less than ideal relationship profiles. You know, hits number five, what’s in it for them? It hits givers, takers and investors. And I would encourage the audience again, check them out in the Nour Forum or in the book. But Jenn, I reiterate to a lot of professionals. And this may come as a complete shock to you, but I’m not everybody’s cup of tea. Right? Can you imagine that? Right? How could that be possible? We’re just some people are like oil and water. I reached out recently , true story, to someone whom I thought had established or develop a relationship with and, and other professional we know each other through a professional organization. And I practice what I preach, I just want to just said I’m reaching out Happy New Year would love to connect, hear about what you’re seeing what you’re hearing, you know what your priorities are, and how I might be able to help.

And this person replies, I’m I’m paraphrasing, but I’m a very close to the chest, you know, type of person. And my strategies and priorities are none of your business. And I was literally beside myself, and I was thinking of the times that we had gone to dinner and had wine together and in a group setting and very cordial and, but you know what, it’s okay. It’s okay, it just, it’s not a personal attack, they’re not dragging my family history and heritage and lineage into this and let it go. Let it go, you’re not everybody’s cup of tea, if you go to an event, or you’re trying to reach out to someone in the organization, and they’re not your cup of tea, or they don’t get value from interacting with you, or they don’t want to do this. And that’s why you again, language is really powerful. And you’ve seen in my emails, internal or external, let me know of your interest, and availability, I’ve reached a place in my life where I often say no guilt, no obligation, if you don’t want to do this, by all means, don’t, don’t worry about it, not a big deal.

And you need to go in with that attitude of not everybody’s your cup of tea, don’t wear your eagerness on your sleeve. Don’t try to it’s like trying to date someone who doesn’t want to date you, right? Don’t force yourself onto people, certainly don’t invite yourself where you’re not invited. And you’ve heard you’ve also heard me say this, and I can’t take credit for it, I read it somewhere else, but have the courage to walk away. When respect is no longer served. When if you don’t feel like that person is getting value from you, if you don’t feel like they’re your type of person, your type of a relationship, your ideal relationship profiles, what we call it, it’s okay, be polite, take the high road but move on. I don’t think twice about that person’s response. And I’ve moved on. And that’s what makes for a healthy you. And unless you start with a healthy you, you cannot pour that love and support and nurture relationships into others.

Jenn Cordz 52:40
That makes complete sense. And I think it’s solid advice because there are some people who either aren’t attuned to sort of those social cues, if you will, or they just completely ignore them. And they may mean well, but they come across as needy or clingy in a way that’s that’s not attractive, or in a professional or personal relationship perspective. So, those, that’s our episode for today, um, like David said, check out our Nour Forum, where he’s posted this list in two different sections and talked a little bit more about each of the 10 items.

So that’s In there, we share insights and thought leadership and there’s other like minded professionals in there. So come join our community and to dive deeper into those conversations. This podcast is weekly on Tuesdays at noon Eastern and you can watch it live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, or you can stream us through podcasting service through anchor, Spotify, Apple, wherever you consume this content. We hope you join us every week on Tuesdays at noon, jumping with your questions, comments, we’d love audience interaction. And on behalf of Nour and myself, we thank you for joining us.

David Nour 54:05
Thanks, everybody. Thanks, Jenn. See you next time.

Photo by Product School on Unsplash

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