Ep 34. Networking is a Contact Sport – Joe Sweeney
Joe Sweeney is one of the best networkers I’ve met and a new mentor of mine. Besides being on the short list for the CEO job of the Green Bay Packers, in his career Joe has been an Entrepreneur, Business Owner, Investment Banker, and Sports Agent.
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Today we dive into:
How Joe was on the short list to become CEO of the Green Bay Packers
How Joe buying a random strager a cup of coffee led to him networking with the Chairman of the Board of one of the largest life insurance companies, Northwestern Mutual, and landing them as a client.
How “Networking is a place you go to give and not to get”
The Hunter vs. the Fisherman
Networking can often be described in terms of the hunter and the fisherman. The hunter gets prepared, identifies their target, positions themselves in an idea setting, then strikes when the time is right, hoping that the animal does not escape.
The fisherman surveys the pond, try to find out what part of the pond the fish are biting, what time of day, what bait. They go there, put the pole in the water, and the fish come to them.
When it comes to networking, be more of a fisherman than a hunter. A simple way to do this is to go to events and set an intention of finding out how to help other people get what they want. That’s the secret to great networking.
If you study the greatest networking in the world, you will find they all do this.
This is such an important concept that Joe wrote Networking is a Contact Sport as a way to teach this to his children, and it ended up becoming a New York Times Best Seller.
The best networkers are not the best talkers, they are the best listeners. You cannot help others get what they want when you are talking all the time.
Great Questions Joe Asks
What do people love to talk about? Themselves and their Kids!
What are you most excited about in your life right now?
Do Your Research – Never make a cold call
Always try to find out as much as you can about a person before you engage them.
During your interactions, pay attention to the little things about a person. What kind of cocktail they like, their kids names, etc. You can incorporate this in future interactions by bringing them a bottle of their favorite liquor or asking how their children are by name… it will make a huge difference.
How Can You Differentiate Yourself – Wow Someone
Find something personal about someone
Then do something memorable
Set aside money every month in a “Wow Budget”
When you do these things, it will release serotonin in your brain and make you feel good. It will also psychologically remind you that you have enough, which leads to an abundance mindset.
Getting Free – eliminating limiting beliefs
Getting the tools to get going
Employee to Entrepreneur – comes down to getting comfortable with risk
Can you be comfortable with a calculated risk?
Build a board of directors around you to support you