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You don’t know, who I know

It always amazes me of just how narrow minded and short sighted some people are when networking. If you have attended a formal networking event before, you will know what I am talking about.  Many people talking in a room and mighty few people listening! Oh yes and then the glazed eyes of the other person when you tell them about your business. Wow, how rude some business people can be. That said they are the losers, I have often had a great lead or a valuable contact that I could have effortlessly shared, but due to the way I had been treated I have not. At the end of the day I am unlikely to recommend and/or help someone who fails to respect and listen to me.

I had a reminder of this in my own business in January. I received a phone call late on Friday afternoon from a gentleman looking for advice on changing careers.( He had been referred by a contact. ) I agreed to meet me on Monday for a coffee. On Monday I spend over 2 hours with this gentleman giving him advice and recommendations. I went through various Career Coaching options with him. Finally, we got up to leave and I asked him what services he thought would suit him best. I was taken a back with his reply – “Thanks for your time, I don’t think I will be needing your services.” I think I was too stunned to react badly and throw my toys out of my pram, but 15 minutes later I was livid and felt my time had been wasted.

Now, I have thought about what I did wrong – Maybe I gave too much valuable advice for free? Possibly, but I still refuse to work with any client that I have not met. (if not face to face at least on Skype). I also think working with a client is like entering into a partnership so you have to get on well together and your client has to believe that you are capable of helping them.

To cut a long story short, I got over my disappointment and continued with my busy day and within a week three new clients came on board. They all had one thing in common. Can you guess? I had been recommended to all three by the gentleman who I had thought had wasted my time.   Within a month a further two clients had come on board thanks to him. We are now in March and my 2 hour meeting with him has been the most profitable and beneficial so far.

So the next time you switch off or meet someone who is unlikely to generate you an obvious lead or sale….Say to yourself – “I don’t know, who they know!”

Greg is a Social Media trainer and workshop facilitator with the Digital Marketing Institute. He has also delivered lectures and short courses for leading organisations including SureSkills, and The Michael Smurfit Business School. Greg also works with the Ahain Group as a Social Business Consultant. He believes that in order to make social media work for your business you must have a clear business goal, a clearly defined strategy and make sure that everything you do is measureable. Specialities include: Social Media Training | Personal Branding |Social Business Consultancy | Social Strategy Workshops | Interview Techniques | Psychometric Profiling | LinkedIn Training | Facebook Training | Twitter Training | Blogging | Online Video and You Tube Training | Emerging Social Media (Pinterest, Foursquare, Instagram, Google+ etc.) More information at: and

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  • Greg,

    LOVE the title! It encapsulates so many things!

    It is SO true, and thanks for sharing your lessons using one of your personal stories.

    I believe that everything happens for a reason and I also believe that sometimes when that thing happens it might not make sense, but with faith, I always look up.

    The other thing is that we are always so fast in judging and critiquing ourselves, “I have thought about what I did wrong”; and more than often, we have actually not done anything wrong. 😉 Anyway, back to the topic (just could not resist, shifting this)!

    With networking, my second rule (the first one is Smile 😉 is to never underestimate its power!

    Plus, I believe in the “Six degrees of separation” (also referred to as the “Human Web”) refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth. It was popularized by a play written by John Guare. Reference, Wikipedia:

    And, with this, in mind, it is definitely powerful! Only 6 degrees…!


  • Very interesting experience and insight Greg. Proof positive that the most important thing is not who you know, but who knows you! Everyone should bear that in mind when they’re networking – both on and off-line.

    Also, every business person and job-seeker should meticulously make sure that their family and friends are very clear on what exactly it is that they do and what precise opportunities they are seeking. That makes it easier for these willing people, who are already on our side, to support us in a meaningful way.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comment:)
    You are so right about family and friends knowing exactly what you do or what you are looking for. I had a job seeking client who taped a page with a 6 line description of what he was looking for on every phone in the house. That way his parents, brothers and sisters would always have him in mind and be able to convey what he was looking for when communicating to their friends.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the lovely comment. It truly made me smile!

    Nothing can be more infectious than a Smile.- “Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day”.

    Thanks for mentioning the 6 Degrees of Separation. I am too a great believer!

  • Brilliant! I’m going to pass that tip on – over and over!

  • Anonymous

    Great post Greg. I’m really trying to ramp up my personal networking at the moment, and your post has given me some food for thought.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Frank.

    Good luck ramping up your personal networking. (You seem to already be doing a great job btw)
    I find clicking on the tab “see events your connections are attending” on LinkedIn is a super way of finding relevant networking events to attend.

  • Hi Greg. Personal experience really does go a long way to make an abstract (though 100% accurate concept) into a reality – and this post just does that – fair play. It’s more prove that networking and talking to real people actually does make the difference!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the comment Barney. Have a good weekend.

  • Well done Greg – I really like this. And it is absolutely true that you never know where, when or from whom that next referral will come. I too believe in the six degrees of separation although I think it is probably more like three degrees these days.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Jackie for your comment. Yes we are probably close to 3 degrees of separation these days (particularly in Ireland). Have a lovely weekend.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg. I can’t seem to find the tab “see events your connections are attending” on LinkedIn. I’m on the basic version. Do I need to upgrade?

  • Anonymous

    No, I when you login to your linkedin homepage. About half the way down on the right hand side you should see The Events section. At the end you should see in small writing “NEW See events your connections are attending. I hope this helps.

  • Great post, Greg. You lived to your values and have got the reward. Never doubt yourself or what way you network. Otherwise you become just like them!

  • Good article, Greg. I found it because I spotted the photograph you’ve chosen to illustrate the article, and I’m in it. The photo shows a speed networking session at a networking group I sometimes go to. I’m very sceptical about speed networking, but on that occasion I found two very useful contacts. So, to amplify the point of your article, I guess we should not only keep an open mind about who contacts might know, but also an open mind about how people want to interact with us, and how we should spend our time with them.

  • Anonymous


    Delighted that you found the article and very happy that you took the time to post a comment. I am delighted that the picture I chose has a success story behind it. Speed networking can be a valuable way to make connections. However when you meet someone at such an event the success or failure depends upon your follow through after the event.

    Kind Regards


  • Anonymous

    Thanks a lot for the comments Shane. I hope all is well with you and the family. I will never doubt myself or the way I network.

  • Hi Greg,
    lovely post and thanks so much for sharing, I think from the previous comments, you have hit a common thread amongst all networkers. As many of us have discussed before about networking being more about helping others initially, or getting others in touch together, your post is a clear indication that you “JUST NEVER KNOW” 🙂
    And I also wonder sometimes am I networking “properly” – I feel there really is no proper way, most important is to “be yourself” and shine 🙂

  • I like this post very much, it proves that you ‘just never know’ where any conversation will lead in life, both for business and also personal. Well done Greg.

  • Anonymous

    Welcome back Elaine. I hope you are well. You summed it up well – be yourself and shine.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Catherine. It is great thing “to never know” where any conversation will lead us. And to know that even when something does not work at we had hoped, that in fact it may be the very reason something wonderful will present itself to us.

  • Hi Greg,

    Loved the article and I can entirely relate to the first paragraph. Most business people do not know how to network properly, how to ‘master their mingle-ability’. According to a Chinese Proverb I came across lately ‘A Single Conversation With A Wise Man Is Better Than Ten Years of Study’

    Many of us , at one time or another, are turned off by the idea of networking with people who have markedly different interests. There are times when you would rather stay at home, curl up on your couch and watch ‘desperate housewives’ reruns versus getting dressed up and going to another network meeting.

    For some, “networking” conjures up images of overzealous “here’s my card, give me a call” hustlers who are intent on selling you something you don’t want or need. To others, networking means working your way through a room as if you’re being paid by the handshake. Regardless of how you feel about interacting with strangers, networking is undeniably one of the most effective ways of meeting people who can help you grow your career or your business.

    Effective networking requires study and practice before it becomes second nature. The more you engage in social interaction, the less anxious you will be. You will have more authority and poise if you know the rules of engagement.

  • Anonymous

    Niamh – Thanks for your comment. I am glad you liked the article.Love the Chinese proverb.

  • What I enjoyed most about this video and the tips in it is that they are very straight forward. Many of the home based business owners I work with can be quite intimidated by this subject and not know where to start. These tips are a great reminder that the best strategies are often simple, well executed, customer focussed and measured.nYour video helps to demystify this subject for very small businesses in an easy to understand and easy to implement way. It is just what small businesses need.

  • Thanks for your comment Ali, they don’t call John the worldu2019s most practical small business expert for nothing 🙂

  • Thanks Ivan!

  • Anonymous

    Super stuff Fred. Great to see new ground breaking activity on Bloggertone:)

  • Colette @ Real Insights

    Really enjoyed this & delighted to hear ‘listen to your customers’ to glean insights into how you can perform better & deliver to their needs – has always been my mantra & will continue to be!! Thx again 🙂

  • Cheers mate

  • Derbhile

    I’m always trying to hit that point home about being different when I’m writing press releases. Even if what you do isn’t that different, it’s how you do it that will separate you from the crowd. n

  • Derbhile

    I’m always trying to hit that point home about being different when I’m writing press releases. Even if what you do isn’t that different, it’s how you do it that will separate you from the crowd. n

  • Great stuff Fred, really enjoyed that. Simple, clear and manageable advice.

  • This is great and what a gift to have this interview for your followers/viewers. John is one of my absolute favorites who I have come to completely rely on in many areas for small business. I refer many of my small business clients to follow him and learn all they can because he offers so much. Thanks for sharing this! Much kindness, Elena

  • Sounds like you have the right mantra! Thanks for your comments, Colette.

  • Thanks for the comment, Elena. We hope that many Bloggertone readers can benefit from John’s advice, just like your clients :).

  • It all sounds extremely exciting and I’m pleased to see Bloggertone making such a great leap forward.nExcellent interview!

  • What a great watch, well done lads, looking forward to tuning in to Bloggertone TV again 🙂

  • Good interview by John and Fred. John was one of the first people I “met” the blogosphere way back when. It’s been exciting to see his business grow and the direction he’s taken.

  • Well done Beatrice! nnGreat post. I also believe that it’s a poor move to not call it ‘like’. It’s amazing how little people know about Google outside of search really and +1 is not adding to adoption. Everyone knows about like so why not take advocates on board as opposed to trying to win them over to what will be perceived as being another application for everyone to get their head around. I’m with you on this one! nnChat soon

  • Totally agree with your point – tis a bit strange to be asked to like a search when you haven’t even visited the site and why would one return to the search page again, will be interesting to see how it all pans out though. Thanks a mill for the explanationnLorna

  • Hi Niall,nnThe combination of Social influence with the traditional search algorithm is definately the way for Google to go but the issue is how best they should do it. It might have been better if they put effort into getting people to use and understand their Google public profile more and then once that is achieved they can allow people to recommend links from that profile. Google profiles are still not mainstream, nearly everyone I know is on Facebook but I never hear anyone mention they were in their Google profile. Gmail seems to be pretty mainstream so perhaps they should look at it from that point of view, expanding Gmail into a social network and then allowing people to search the web from Gmail and then recommend links from there.

  • Thanks for all of the positive feedback. I am going to go into my Google profile right now and start connecting and +1ing links – we might as well give Google all of the help they need!

  • Hi Beatrice, great answer! I don’t think I can disagree with any of it 🙂

  • If Google are tapping into it, then the power of ‘likes’ is sure to increase. I do agree with you Beatrice, that the word ‘like’ would have worked much better. Then again maybe Google is hoping the new name is much more unique – who knows.nnIf you do have to click the magic button to express a like beforehand, then couldn’t this be a pointless metric or abused by brands and companies?? I’m all for some social integration online, but do worry about manipulation. Rankings has always been about relevancy as opposed to popularity.nWatch this space!

  • Facundo

    Completely agree with you and Beatrice, there is no logic in one having to click on a result that one hasn’t visited. Before anyone says it, it is true that sometimes we “like” posts or content with the FB button without actually reading it fully, but that doesn’t mean that the principle behind it is to like blindly. It also seems to me that Google has missed a first step: Facebook first got us to like like like stuff within Facebook and only then rolled out the button to external sites. In this case Google is rolling it to external sites & search results without having us adopt the +1 somehow before (they can’t). Probably Beatrice’s point that Google should call a “like” a “like” makes even more sense in this race for adoption.

  • Hi Chrstina,nnI agree that manipulation is a significant concern for this. Google have put some regulations in place to make manipulation more difficult, for instance, the +1 button only shows to you if you are logged into your google account while doing the search and to set up a Google account such as a Gmail account you need to verify with a telephone number. This will allow Google to track if numerous clicks on the same +1 button are coming from the same account and then would probably count those as invalid. Google seems to be able to determine invalid clicks on Adwords ads so it should be able to do the same for the +1button. Having said that I’m sure it will be a constant effort from them to ensure they are keeping up with all of the latest tricks from the spammers.

  • I so agree with Sathishkumar – until Google does their part, whose going to use it?

  • u00a0No one knows that Google Profiles exists. When anyone tried to click +1 then google profile sign up page is coming up to register with.

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