Derek Coburn | Networking Is Still Not Working (Episode 563)

Derek Coburn | Networking Is Still Not Working (Episode 563)

Derek Coburn | Networking Is Still Not Working (Episode 563)

Derek Coburn (@cadredc) returns to the show to share more of his un-networking secrets. He is a master networker and author of Networking Is Not Working: Stop Collecting Business Cards and Start Making Meaningful Connections.

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Why is indifference one of the largest obstacles in business today?
  • Do you feel like the time you spend networking for new relationships might be better spent on enhancing existing relationships?
  • Understand the power of unlocking dormant ties.
  • Learn how to get the most out of networking events.
  • Host a different kind of networking event as a way to offer value to the people you already know and work with.
  • And so much more…


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Last time he was on the show, Networking Is Not Working: Stop Collecting Business Cards and Start Making Meaningful Connections author Derek Coburn taught us a thing or two about how successful people network differently in the 21st century than they did in the past.

Derek rejoins us to pick up where we left off and dispense even more tips that will make you an effective un-networker. Even if you don’t own a business, you can apply these lessons to job hunting, academic pursuits, or any endeavor that involves making new connections and better knowing the connections you already have — in other words, there’s something here for everyone. Enjoy!

More About This Show

As a businessman himself, Networking Is Not Working: Stop Collecting Business Cards and Start Making Meaningful Connections author and CADRE co-founder Derek Coburn feels the biggest competitor most businesses face is indifference.

You might be the most reliable, resourceful, and efficient provider of a good or service. But if the people you could be serving don’t even know you exist because they don’t perceive a need for what it is you provide, both sides lose.

“I think there’s a lot of gold and a lot of potential in finding ways to get in front of these people and disrupt that indifference,” says Derek.

From our end of it, we may be guilty of the same indifference. If something’s working well enough, we rarely look for a replacement that could be better — especially if it’s not something that excites us. For example: with tax time fast approaching, will you be filing in the same way you did last year, and maybe for the past several years? You probably feel like it’s something you’ve got covered, so maybe you don’t seek a solution that could be better.

What would shake you out of a state of indifference and entice you to trying something new? You don’t have to look any further than an Internet search (or a phone book if you’re old school) to see that your options are probably overwhelming. An accountant would have to really set him or herself apart from the rest to even show up on your radar. The reverse is also true — what sets you apart from the crowd in your industry? What draws attention to what you do?

And while drumming up new connections by networking is important, it’s even more important to remember and recognize your connections that already exist.

“I think the way that you disrupt this indifference is to first and foremost focus on adding more value for your existing clients — maybe redefining what great service means,” says Derek. “But taking it a step further: putting your clients and the people who you’re already connected with in a position to help you get in front of more people who are not necessarily looking for whatever it is you provide, but you getting a chance to get in front of them and strategically and effectively communicating how you’re different will give you a great opportunity…to end up with a lot more ideal clients than if you were just waiting around for clients to say, ‘Hey, here’s a referral for you.'”

The service you provide may, at the end of the day, be identical to the service offered by others. But it’s how you generate trust and rapport — making your client feel safe in your hands — that makes the difference.

Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn more about what Derek has against popular networking advice like sending handwritten letters to new connections as a way to be memorable, what triggering events are and how we can ensure we’re the ones our connections think of when they have a problem we can help them solve, how to take the guesswork out of networking by helping others help us, why we should make an effort to reconnect with people who have fallen outside of our usual network, how Derek uses Contactually as a tool to regularly keep in touch with everyone in his network in a non-generic way, why you should consider throwing client appreciation events that provide value for everyone instead of overdone networking events that often provide value to no one, and lots more.


If you enjoyed this session with Derek Coburn, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:

Click here to thank Derek Coburn at Twitter!

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