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Network Values

by Randall Craig on May 5, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Business Development, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking

Tagged as: , ,

When it comes to networking, the focus seems always to be on quantity. How many cards in your rolodex? How many names in your computer? How many LinkedIn Connections?

Unfortunately, in our quest to supersize our network, we often forget about the importance of its quality. Let’s face it: a network of ten people who continuously work on our behalf, giving us business leads and career help, is far more valuable than 1000 people who won’t return our calls.

Here are several ways to improve the quality of those in your network:

1) Fish where the fish are: Attend events where people who can help you also attend. Nothing is wrong with kids soccer games or neighborhood BBQs, but make sure your “target” type of person will also be there. (Often they aren’t.)

2) Meet new people: Once you’re at the networking event, ask open-ended questions to people you haven’t yet met, in order to understand their needs… and determine if a relationship will be mutually beneficial. If you do spend time with people you know, ask them to introduce you to folks they know at the event. An introduction is an implicit endorsement, and highly valuable.

3) Give to Get: Add the most value to those who can help you the most. Consider sending them newsclippings, introducing them to people in your network, or giving them business referrals: anything, so long as it as valuable to them. The more you deposit into your network bank, the more you can later withdraw.

This week’s action item: Who are your ten most valuable networking contacts? And what have you done for them this month – that they value? Answer these two key questions, and resolve to do something for each of these core ten people… within the week.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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