Focus on meeting people who share
common interests with you or can strike
a strong rapport. Find people you want
to meet outside the event and with
whom you want to build a relationship.
4if you don’t ask, you won’t get. Once you have developed strong relationships
with your network, it’s important that
you ask for help when you need it and
communicate it clearly.
Stop waiting for your network to
come to your aid and expect them to
know instinctively what you need and
when. Your job is to make it as easy as
possible for people to refer you. And
that means communicating your
Keep in mind that is important.
Focus on the relationship first, and
once the bond has been forged, you
can more freely ask for referrals.
5stop worrying about looking good. There are two main reasons we don’t ask for
help and support more often. One is
because we are worried about looking
vulnerable; the other is we don’t want
to be a burden to others. Both come
down to vanity, ego and fear of looking
bad in others’ eyes.
Looking vulnerable is all in how the
request is framed. Tell people your
business is failing because you haven’t
delivered to your existing clients and
that you desperately need any new
business to get cash flowing—and you
look weak. Share a recent success story
and outline how you can help another
company using the same techniques,
offering to speak to your champion’s
contact to support them—and the
impression is somewhat different.
As for being a burden, get over
yourself! When was the last time you
helped someone and it made a differ-
ence to them? How did you feel?
Chances are you took pleasure from it.
We like to help people we care about.
6your competitors can be your champions. NSA is a place where you can learn and
share, and offer and receive support. It
is also a potentially tremendous source
Speaking is an unusual profession in
that we often deliver once to our clients
and then move on, particularly if they
have booked us as a
keynote speaker for their
conference. Many meeting planners want different faces the next year.
So, the opportunity
is there for us to refer
and be referred by our
fellow members of the
It won’t just be other
speakers covering different topics who might
refer you. I have given
and received referrals to
and from fellow speakers
on my topic of networking and referrals. If I
can’t meet a client’s
needs (for example, if
I’m booked on the date
they need), I would
rather recommend a
speaker I trust than
Nurture relationships with fellow
speakers and seek to refer them where
you can. Many will reciprocate whenever they see the opportunity.
7give without remembering. Networking is a two-way process. Seek to give referrals
and support your network wherever
and however you can. Don’t view it as
quid pro quo—give purely because you
can. There should be no keeping score.
The more you embrace an attitude
of abundance and generosity, the
more people will want to