296: Derek Coburn | Networking is Not Working


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"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.
  • Why successful networking is a lot like successful dating.
  • What to ask yourself before you make an email introduction.
  • Permission marketing: what is it, why you should use it and how.
  • How to put together your own 20-25 person networking group.
  • 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. 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.

More About This Show:

The concept behind networking has evolved and through 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 it 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 3 for 1's as he calls them. In the past, if he had a set of 4 tickets to a sporting event or a tournament he was sponsoring, Derek would invite 3 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 3 tickets for every 1. He gave his client a ticket to an event and then told him to invite 3 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 do you know amongst 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. Have a listen and let me know what you think in the comments or send me an email!

Resources from this episode:

Derek's web site Cadre DC Why Networking Is Not Working

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