Cracking the Networking Code: 4 Steps to Priceless Business Relationships

Published By: World Gumbo Publishing

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Business & Economics

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Reviewed by Connie Anderson

"I know what your parents said, but you must talk to strangers."

What's the last book you've read on networking? As a six-year member of Business Networking Int'l (BNI), I was leery about reading one more book about networking. I was wrong!

Author and speaker Dean Lindsay has a humorous way to remind us that networking is about trust, value, liking yourself…and that networking is an art, actually a skill, a creative process.

I believe with many things that we know, sometimes we need to be reminded about things like: Every time we network, we should play the role of a "progress agent," working to find mutual benefit.

If we need to network to grow our business or find good resources, Lindsay gives us the important "rehash" of the type of common mistakes and pitfalls—as well as the benefits of being a successful networker. Boy, did they hit home.

His 4-Step "Cracking the Network CODE" is:

  • C: Create personal curb appeal (not new shrubbery but a "friendly" facelift)
  • O: Open face-to-face relationships (with those who want one
  • D: Deliver solid first impressions (duh, mother always told us that
  • E: Earn trust (easy to say, but hard sometimes to accomplish in today's e-mail, fast-paced business life

    Personally, as an extrovert I am energized by meeting new people and networking with them (even recalling my parents' warning about strangers). That is not true for everyone. Lindsay said, "Just because someone could, does not mean they will refer you to others." So networking is mostly about personal contact, ongoing relationships and as stated earlier, being a "progress agent."

    And the book contains wonderful quotes and business reminders that we may or may not already know. Sometimes I get upset when a person I met networking doesn't want to interact, but then as the book says, I need to go on to the next person I meet, keep lines of communication open and work to build the kind of relationship that is mutually beneficial. It is not about collecting a bunch of strangers' business cards…but turning strangers into friends. Armchair Interviews says this is worth reading to be refocused and energized.

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