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?”

oprah-read

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.

 

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About Paul C. Brunson
Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring through Knowledge Share

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195 Comments on "It’s Called “Networking” Not “Using”"

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Ebony Chappel
Guest

thanks Paul!

onyxqueenmedia
Guest

Amen and Amen! This SO needed to be said to the masses! Thank you Paul!

Desiree M. Mondesir
Guest

I’m astounded that people could approach you like that! And yet, I’m not.

I think we all could use a refresher course in networking every now and then. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Robert T. Youngblood
Guest

Paul, this is why I recommend people read “The Go-Giver” by Bob Burg. Especially people who are “NEW” to Networking. Most people are only focused on what they can get when they need to focus on what they can give. The law of reciprocity works (Sow & Reap).
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Ms. Courtesy
Guest

Thanks for this. The sense of entitlement is what kills networking endeavors. Even if I met Oprah in person myself, I would not dare to ask for any type of favor from her off the bat. There would have to be some sort of relationship and trust developed on some level first.

kalei_beamon
Guest

What people don’t understand is that networking is a relationship business. Take time to genuinely connect with someone and see how you may be able to help them. By providing value and looking to help others, doors will open for you too. Funny how the universe works.

Ella Rucker
Guest

Good morning! It’s funny. I know you are right, but in the long run I wonder because there are those who know how to work the “long con” and will give until you get, but somehow you end up with the short end of the stick. Has that ever happened to you, Paul, or do you find you can sniff those kinds of people out?

saladin florence
Guest

I agree!

Troy Spry
Guest

I couldn’t agree more! Nice straight to the point read! The worst are the people who you hear nothing from for years and the first time they contact you its because they need something. Secondly people will ask you to do something for them without putting any quality into what they are asking you to help promote or “hook them up” with. If you ask someone to put their name or stamp of approval on you then you or your product must be a quality product that will represent them well. Thanks for putting it out there….reciprocity is definately key!

sue rock
Guest

Hilariously true!

KILL BILL
Guest

she hAVENT DONE ANY THING FOR THE LATINOS SO I WOULD.

NOT BOTHER..

Michelle Nahom
Guest

What a great post…so true! Build the relationship first and opportunities will follow. I am amazed at how many people don’t get this!

Brooke @ LovesGumbo.com
Guest

Amen!

Sheri Watts
Guest
“You can get anything in life that you want if you just help enough other people get what they want”. Zig Ziglar This has always been one of my favorite quotes. The key, however, is to give without EXPECTING anything in return! When you really have a sincere heart to help other people just because it’s the right thing to do, then that’s when you’ll find you’re really blessed! And the BEST give, is when the person that you give to can’t possibly even reciprocate your gift! That’s the best of all!! 🙂
Ten
Guest

This most definitely needs to go viral. More people need to understand this.

Kristina Thomas
Guest

Amen!

Curvy CEO
Guest
A very timely post! This summer, many young people have recently graduated and are just now entering the workforce and don’t know how this whole “networking” thing really works….actually, now that I think about it, many seasoned professionals don’t know how networking works. *lol* But you are absolutely correct – it is all about reciprocity. Not just what I can do for you or what you can do for me, but how can we help each other? I tend to think of it not as “networking” (because that can seem like such a cold, calculating word). Instead I think of… Read more »
Robert Kennedy III
Guest

Paul, GREAT article! I received a lot from it. Sooooo, ummmm, since I left a comment, uhhhh, can you ask Oprah something for me? LOL!! Wow, that felt great just to write that.

More seriously, this is definitely the truth. Relationships are not built in a day or in just one email. Learning that myself and trying to teach that to my children. Thanks for articulating this.

Richelle Shaw
Guest

I am so not surprised. Daily I receive the same type of emails but they are asking me to fund their project. I ask and how much have you invested? Why would I want to risk my money when you have not invested in yourself? Sigh… I call this type of solicitation, “bootycall marketing”.

TDanyel
Guest

Great post.. short and effective. I think a lot of people miss the opportunity to be seen as an expert in their field by not giving more and only wanting to take. Thanks for sharing!

resourcelady
Guest

I agree. How do you apply that principle when you are unemployed and need an opportunity like yesterday? One may be well intentioned, however current situations necessitate a favor now and once employment is secured then one is in a better position to reciprocate.

Sherlyne xxoo
Guest

Great article!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

Drew
Guest
In philanthropy I was constantly asked for large sums of money from individuals without any connection to the source of funds. The request usually came from a person who felt overly entitled. I usually replied – were you trained as a child to go up to a stranger on the street and ask for large sums of money? Of course not, it is rude as well as not likely to produce the results you desire. It is much more likely that you will receive help from someone who knows you well, knows your work and what you are capable of,… Read more »
Techinplain English
Guest

Good and short article. Thanks. There’s a typo though in the penultimate paragraph. Than not then

Amelia Winslow
Guest

Absolutely. But I do think you have to give, give, give because you WANT to and/or really care…not because you are expecting you might need that person’s services sometime down the line. The latter is even shadier than asking right away upfront.

Ponder OnThat
Guest

word!

Shola Abidoye
Guest

Asking for what one wants directly CAN WORK. *If* you clearly demonstrate (with proof) what’s in it for the other person. Imagine if that same person above had added just a few lines to the above sentence….”I’ve researched your projects and I have a fun, enjoyable and provable way to make your introduction in the best interest of ALL involved. May I share it with you?”. That’s simple copywriting 101.
Notice how many times “you” and “yours” were used in the sentence. This persuasive writing software tool can be a friend —-> http://www.perrymarshall.com/grade/

Keith Robertson
Guest
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… Read more »
Rick James
Guest

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?

Keith
Guest
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… Read more »
Jae
Guest
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… Read more »
Amy
Guest

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

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!

Milton Kelly
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/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!

Milton Kelly
Guest

In response to your article about networking I want to share my article with you and your fans that i had published with Yahoo “The Importance of Building Solid Relationship While Networking.” http://voices.yahoo.com/the-importance-building-solid-relationships-while-12115171.html?cat=9

DeFacts
Guest

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….

Desiree Spivey
Guest
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… Read more »
Lisa Cash Hanson
Guest

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.

Judith Muller
Guest

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!!

Mzcommunicate
Guest

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

DrLCJenkins
Guest

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!

Tracy Larrua
Guest

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?

IALPhoto
Guest

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

Sampaguita Berba
Guest

You still looking good.

RaeShanda Johnson
Guest

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.

La Shonna Polite
Guest

Anthony Bellmon

Jill Collie
Guest

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.

Jill Collie
Guest

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

Marley Cooper
Guest

This is great. Thank you.

Nwaobasi Alden
Guest

Beautiful

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

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
Guest

Thank you Paul. I always enjoy what you post. 🙂

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest

Thanks so much Jill Collie!

Jill Collie
Guest

You’re welcome Paul

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