Derek Coburn | Networking Is Not Working (Episode 296)

“The definition I use for networking is anything that increases the value of your network and/or the value you contribute to it.” – Derek Coburn

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Who you’ll really meet at big networking events. (09:50)
  • Why successful networking is a lot like successful dating. (10:30)
  • What to ask yourself before you make an email introduction. (20:25)
  • Permission marketing: what is it, why you should use it, and how. (20:45)
  • How to put together your own 20-25 person networking group. (31:45)
  • And so much more!

Is networking a thing of the past? Or is there a new 3.0 version we can put into practice to make a difference in the lives of everyone in our circles?

Derek Coburn is a master networker and author of Networking Is Not Working: Stop Collecting Business Cards and Start Making Meaningful Connections. He believes there is a better, natural way to fulfill the art of networking. He joins us for episode 296 to talk about what works, what doesn’t work, and how successful people network differently than the typical “big event” style.

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The concept behind networking has evolved over the decades, but most people are stuck in the “what can you do for me?” networking era. Some of those people have read books on the next level up of networking or the “how can I help you now so you help me later?” genre.

But neither of those apply to what Derek says networking is. To him, networking is about connecting with others in your circles so everyone is enriched in the process.

And this is most definitely something that happens outside of those big box-type networking events. Derek says you don’t need those events and they probably won’t do much to help you expand your relationships, your business/career path, or any other area of your life. For the most part, they are useless.

Why is that? Because, according to him, no one is who any good at networking is actually going to those events. The best and the most successful networkers won’t be there.

Derek goes on to explain the various versions of networking (1.0, 2.0, and 3.0) and why 3.0 is where it’s at today.

According to Derek, in version 3.0 you can truly make yourself stand out among anyone else by adding value to all of your relationships through networking. That’s the power of 3.0. A great example he gives is his three-for-ones, as he calls them. In the past, if he had a set of four tickets to a sporting event or a tournament he was sponsoring, Derek would invite three of his clients and the four of them would hang out together.

Sounds great, right? Sure, it was a good time for all of them. But Derek realized his clients would have an even better time if they were there with their friends, not a couple of guys they didn’t know very well. So from then on, he began giving away three tickets for every one. He gave his client a ticket to an event and then told him to invite three of his buddies and have a good time. Naturally, his clients loved him all the more for it.

When Derek and his wife started the CADRE group, they wanted to help members gain referrals. Instead of just asking for referrals, they created an email template they could send out to anyone they wanted to invite to an introductory session.

Even if you don’t have your own business, you can take the principles of both of these examples and apply them to your life. Derek is always thinking about how to benefit others in his life and how he can make their life more enjoyable and more fulfilling. By adding value to their lives, they remember him and return his generosity.

Think about who you know among your circles who would benefit from knowing each other. Derek also shares with us the proper way to make those introductions and pave the way for a clear connection between your two people. There’s a definite way to make fruitful introductions and a way not to! Derek walks us through his thought process before doing so, and we talk about introductions we’ve made on each other’s behalf — and what we’d do differently next time.

There’s plenty more to discover from Derek in this episode. He truly is a masterful networker and connector who has taught me a ton — and I know he’ll do the same for you.

THANKS, DEREK COBURN!

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AJ Harbinger - author of 1162 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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