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It’s Called “Networking” Not “Using”

It’s Called “Networking” Not “Using”

Daily. Seriously, every single day, I receive a message like the following:

“Hi Paul, I’m working on an incredible new project. Can you introduce me to Oprah so I can pitch it to her for funding?”

I wonder do they really expect my reply to be:

“Sure, let me fire-off an email immediately to her and make an introduction.”

Let’s get serious folks!

The biggest problem people have with networking is going in for the “ask” too soon. If your networking strategy is simply about getting what you want, that’s called “using” not “networking”.

Keep in mind the #1 rule of influence is reciprocity. Doing many somethings for the person you’re building with before you make your ask will dramatically increase your ask getting answered.

The most successful relationships I have built are with people I do more for than they do for me. I give, give, give, give, give, then ask.

Sure, networking is about getting what you want but it’s also about making sure the people who are important to you get what they want, too.

 

Posted on: Jun 11, 2013

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77 comments
Keish
Keish

This is so true. I'm wary of even getting to know certain people now because all they end up doing is wanting something in the end.

Lisa V. Parker
Lisa V. Parker

Hmmm. this link is not working. Or maybe it's me.

Leonie Brooks
Leonie Brooks

Thank you so much for saying this Paul! This is right on target!

Demecos JustMeco Chambers
Demecos JustMeco Chambers

Great article! I as a business owners get these types of messages from other want to be business owners so much it's ridiculous! Another much needed article to share from you Mr.Brunson. Awesome. #begoodorBeGreat

Brenda Smith
Brenda Smith

Thanks Paul,I enjoy reading what you post.

Anikole21
Anikole21

Great reminder. Short and sweet.

Amanda Brown
Amanda Brown

I love Oprah, she has done so much for so many! U r a blessing.

Ray Squared
Ray Squared

I couldn't have said it any better myself!

Jill Collie
Jill Collie

Thank you Paul. I always enjoy what you post. :)

Paul Carrick Brunson
Paul Carrick Brunson

Jill Collie - I connected with them initially via facebook...yes, facebook! I tell the full story at my It's Complicated LIVE shows :-)

Jill Collie
Jill Collie

Paul would you mind telling us the short version of how you got hooked up with the OWN Network?

Jill Collie
Jill Collie

Networking has to work for all party's involved. Let me give an example of what I mean. If I'm sharing someone's posts and they're not sharing any of my posts then that isn't networking. Networking is building relationships to help each other. It is a give and receive.

RaeShanda Johnson
RaeShanda Johnson

I love it big bro. Short and to the point. I had to deal with this Friday. Someone inboxed me after seeing me in dialogue with Syleena Johnson and asked if I could get their music to her. Mind blowing. There is a difference. You are spot on.

IALPhoto
IALPhoto

If I had a dollar for every photo session I gave away while "networking", I would almost as rich as Oprah!  It is sad that so many "business" owners take advantage of others and not give in return

Tracy Larrua
Tracy Larrua

Agree. It's about an authentic connection- a mutual admiration if you will. Then giving more than taking, and the right timing for the ask. And by the way, the "ask" should make sense. Does that make sense?

DrLCJenkins
DrLCJenkins

This is the #RawTruth. Some folks are always trying to get a hookup from somewhere because they just don't want to make the sacrifices or put forth the efforts or save up their own finances to accomplish something. SMH That's right Paul ... do not send anything to Oprah! Let them do it themselves!

Mzcommunicate
Mzcommunicate

So what are you giving? Especially to those (like Oprah) who have everything and access to everyone.

Judith Muller
Judith Muller

Networking is a tool not only to nurture and grow relationships in business but also a very useful platform to pay it forward ,to give a hand up to those who perhaps have no means of accessing information and to connect the ones who needs to heads up in the right direction! Synergy!!

Lisa Cash Hanson
Lisa Cash Hanson

So seriously when can we meet her ? LOL I've never asked for that from someone. Maybe because people ask me all the time too. Although I don't know Oprah but about other things. I think you make a great point people should get to know someone a little first before they ask for introductions. And I'm sure if you thought an idea they had was amazing you would be more impressed to share it on your own. Great points about giving first.

Desiree Spivey
Desiree Spivey

Short sweet and to the point. Networking is definitely about building relationships and those relationships may take a long time to cultivate. And with one reader I do agree that someone has to take a chance on the person in order for the person to advance, however the person has to be WORTH taking a chance on and the only way you are going to know if a person is worthy of your time and influence is if you spend some time knowing their character and work ethic. Can you imagine recommending someone only to find out that they are a few cards short of a deck? It makes you look bad and ruins your brand. I teach a seminar series entitled Money, Power & Respect: The Business seminar series which is comprised of three seminar. How to Build & Maintain Professional Relationships, Personal Branding the Brand Called You and Networking Works When You Work Your Network. In these seminars, I cover the networking process and the difference between "using" someone and "utilizing" someone.

DeFacts
DeFacts

I think the disappointment that often leaves that proverbial lasting impression comes from writers and promoters of social media marketing, making the very same mistake with their attempts to sell their social media marketing products. With over 30 years of business, I have the following rule about reciprocation: Reciprocation is the highest manifestation of inspired reasoning—one hand can’t clap. So, the minute I meet anyone lacking this leaver of inspiration … well….

Milton Kelly
Milton Kelly

Amen To That! This is a great article. People have to realize that networking is about teamwork. Networking is about what can we do for each other and not what can you do for me. Networking is all about supporting each other. The main reason why people fail at networking is because they don't know what their purpose of networking. I had recently published a book "The Real Purpose of Networking." http://www.amazon.com/Real-Purpose-Networking-Milton-Kelly/dp/1482362007/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371865165&sr=1-1&keywords=the+real+purpose+of+networking Thank You Paul for sharing this important article with us. Be Blessed!

Guest
Guest

Amen To That! This is a great article. People have to realize that networking is about teamwork. Networking is about what can we do for each other and not what can you do for me. Networking is all about supporting each other. The main reason why people fail at networking is because they don't know what their purpose of networking. I had recently published a book "The Real Purpose of Networking." http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Gods-Toward-Destination-Volume/dp/1480226238/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1371864064&sr=8-1 Thank You Paul for sharing this important article with us. Be Blessed!

Keith Robertson
Keith Robertson

I am sure you get hundreds of hits everyday and from your perspective it might look like people are "using" you, but please don't forget what it is like to not have any kind of fame or influence. From the outside looking in, people are just hoping for a break...a very similar kind of break you were given. It does not mean they did not work hard. Some people are just looking for a shot to help other people and it's not always for selfish reasons that they contact you. You never know the gratitude or what they can do for you after you lend your help. The "reciprocity" has to start somewhere, but why assume it starts from the bottom? Essentially, all famous people were not famous at some point, and the biggest risk an investor did was put a little faith behind a project or person. To be frank, in this less social society we live in, how many opportunities do you think a person is going to have to engage with you. With thousands of followers, eventually great ideas are going to be lost in the noise. Also, when you apply for a job or something, you really do not have an established relationship with the employer beforehand. You submit your resume and cover letter, and then hope for the best. Much like a tweet... There are a billion hard workers and networkers out there who will never be given a shot. There are a billion people out there with talent. The difference between them and you is, someone gave you a shot. Someone took a chance on you. And as hard as I am sure you worked to get where you are, there is still a bit of luck involved in that someone was willing to take your pitch, listen to your story, or read something you gave them. Your bio says you pitched an idea "to local DC government and never got a no, but never got a yes either. Guess that’s politics." So you know like everyone else what rejection feels like from people at the top and to be ignored. I think we are all very aware that government officials (local or otherwise) get messages very similar to the ones you are getting now. It's not just politics...it's life. By the way I see, you are looking for an "engaged man who wants his proposal filmed by a pro crew (for free)?" and "If so," they should contact you. Is this not what the non-famous people are doing when they reach out to you? They are trying to contact you for something, just as you are trying to do with people who are not so famous. You have a project and you need people to get involved. I am assuming these engaged men's reward is being put on tv...so thus the reciprocation is justified right? Well the average person has projects too that require a little help, but that does not mean you cannot get something out of it. These average people who reach out to you might not know you from Adam, just as you do not know these engaged men, but this is the world of social "networking" we live in now. Everyone is contacting everyone and everyone is looking for a break. Be thankful you are in a place where you have Oprah's email, but as most of us, you did not start that way. People sometimes need a break and they also know that there aren't many chances the will have to be noticed in a sea of tweets or flurry of other people.

Rick James
Rick James

None of what you said is actually relevant to the point. By your logic, he should be forwarding Oprah hundreds of emails a day and Oprah should be spending 60% of their time helping people who didnt get the chance she did. I hope you realize how insanely unrealistic it is. Paul presumably made his own breaks or luck, why should he make yours for you?

Amy
Amy

It's interesting that this all originated from someone whose job is to help people....

Keith
Keith

i do not think you understood the response. No one said anything about sending Oprah hundreds of emails. The original point was that people should not forget where they came from. "Make your own luck" sounds nice and is a nice proverb, but at the end of the day it is unrealistic to put your hopes and dreams solely on the idea that you can get anywhere in life without help from another person. I know the original post was long, but look at when it said that there are billions of people who work hard and are deserving of a shot - possibly more than most. The difference between them is that someone gave people like Paul and Oprah a chance and invested in them. Make no mistake about it - we get nowhere in this world unless someone above us allows it to happen. You cannot get a tv show without a tv executive signing off on it, you cannot get a music deal without a record executive signing off on it. All you can do is work hard and hope someone will give you a chance along the way. Make your own luck...when luck is a big differentiating factor between the famous and not famous, but also at the very denotation of the word is itself recognized as being something beyond one's control...talk about your "insanely unrealistic" ideas..

Z Pickens
Z Pickens

@Keith  you are so on point, and I should know.....I was once in the Oprah camp.


Jae
Jae

Keith I 2nd everything you said. Unfortunately many are too selfish to see understand your point. We were not designed by God to achieve success and greatness all by ourselves. We were created to love one another and help one another. My grandmother taught me the greatest praise u can give to God is when he blesses you, you bless someone else. And you do it from the heart with kindness, not expecting anything in return. Phil Donahue helped Oprah and invested in her, encouraged her, supported her and gave her the start she needed. Yes we all can do great things, but not all by ourselves with no help, support, assistance, and encouragement from anyone else. Trust and believe every great, famous, and successful person had a "wind beneath their wings." Somebody was their cheerleader, supporter, and many other things. For Paul it was his wife and her family I believe. At any rate, this is point Keith is making and he is absolutely right. However I agree with Paul's point. Again it goes back to unselfishness and not making things all about you. I agree that we should not confuse networking with asking for handouts and asking for things to be given to us. As my grandmother told me, "your journey is yours and yours alone. People can support you, hold your hand and walk with you, but nobody not even God, can walk your journey for you. Your journey is yours to walk, and yours alone."