Don’t be a lazy networker

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“Lazy” and “Networker” might seem mutually exclusive, but I can assure you, as someone with some laziness tendencies, it’s not.

 

For some, networking comes naturally. My friend Barry Schlecker came out of the womb as a schmoozer. But for most of us, we’ve had to work at it. I personally have developed my networking skills for about 25 years now. And most of those acquired skills didn’t come easily. But networking has become pretty comfortable for me, pretty much second nature.  And then COVID-19 …  I’ve learned how completely reliant I’ve become on my people-reading skills. My first couple passes at forced telephone and email networking were pretty humbling.

 

And then there was Zoom! Video chat has become a lifesaver for me. I’ve rediscovered my ability to be a more effective communicator. But getting people to agree to video chat can be a challenge. Some people are intimidated by the technology, and some people just don’t want to shave or get dressed these days.  But for me, persistence with insisting on video chats with my networking peeps has paid dividends. And an unexpected bonus; many are REALLY appreciative that I turned them on to video chat. Perhaps you remember in my last post I said “you need to give before you get”.  Well sometimes when you put yourself out there, you can give without even knowing it!

 

And another example where shedding lazy tendencies can help: My initial take on the pandemic’s complete and utter destruction of the economy left me thinking “woe is me”.  And I admit it took weeks for me to stop feeling sorry for myself. But I found that forcing myself to remain an active networker, even in the days of social distancing, helped push the blues away and re-energized me.  Like many “salespeople”, I experience something like photosynthesis, but not from sunlight, rather from interactions with other people.

 

In summary, stop feeling sorry for yourself, pull yourself out of the COVID doldrums, and get back to networking. NOW!

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