Networking Cop-out: “You Know Everyone”

You can’t imagine how many times I hear these words, “you know everyone” and when I do, I have a sinking feeling in my heart.

Let me set the table here.

I live and network in New York and as we all know New York is a large and bustling metropolis. From micro-businesses to Fortune 50 giants, the city has it all and well, I am quite certain that I know just a very (VERY) small percentage of these businesses that call New York their home.

Now don’t get me wrong. I know quite a lot of people and the companies with which they are affiliated. I mean, after all, I’m an active networker and as such, I meet lots of people on a pretty consistent basis.

But EVERYONE…I’m afraid not.

Making networking introductions takes time and effort, or at least making good introductions does. Yes it takes some work but with the work (hopefully) comes some reciprocal introductions, if not in the short-term, well then, sometime in the future. (We like to believe in “what goes around comes around!”)

I make at least 5 introductions per day and more often aim to make 10. Sometimes it happens when I am meeting with a person and all of a sudden it hits me that I know a truly fantastic contact for them and almost immediately send out a cyber intro. But more often making introductions requires that I sit at my computer and look into my database so that I can make a substantive, meaningful and PROACTIVE introduction (PROACTIVE meaning that I make the introduction because of viable synergies such as the 2 individuals work with similar clients yet don’t do the same thing or have similar referral sources and should get to know each other so their referral network can grow as well.)

But back to “you know everyone.”

That means:

I don’t have the time to really think about this.

No one has asked me if I know a sales and marketing consultant and it’s too difficult to do this proactive thing.

But that’s okay. Even though I don’t know everyone once you say those words I know where you stand and that helps simplify the networking that we’re going to do together…or frankly, not going to do together!


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