Advancing

Strategic Connections in Networking

strategic networking

Meaningful networking is all about building relations. Many people realize this, but only few people understand how to turn an acquaintance into a reliable member of your network.

Below are the highlights from an episode of Mark Anthony Dyson’s podcast: The Voice of Job Seekers, featuring Anne Baber. They discuss the six stages of relationships in networking. Enjoy the highlights, and listen to the full podcast here.


We talk a lot about job networking here on the podcast, but it is a job search impediment for so many job seekers. It is an essential tool in the 21st century to find business connections and job opportunities. Anne Baber is one of four authors of the new book, Strategic Connections: The New Face of Networking in a Collaborative World is my guest offers a different approach to networking.

Anne is the Principal of Contact Counts LLC and author of seven other books and an expert in business networking. Her firm has a worldwide reach of clients for the last 24 years.

Here are a some of the highlights of our discussion:

  • Anne stated that over the last 25 years of research through her firm shows that only 20% of people are “natural networkers.” They get. They don’t need any help. The rest of us need to study up on networking
  • Networking can be overwhelming, even for extroverts, who also needs to know how networking works
  • Anne offered this twist on a standard line we hear all of the time, “I was working for XYZ company, but THEY lost my job!” She says that you didn’t lose your job, and THEY (the company that laid you off) lost your job. Then this will open the door for you to focus on a specific talent, not on a broad set of skills.
  • Anne shares the six stages of relationships in networking you go through or create
      1. Accident. You are not going to meet that person again unless you make it happen
      2. Acquaintance. You meet this person through someone else. You can meet them again and find them
      3. Associates. You can join a community or group. You can make them an active relationship if you are giving. It is likely that the person will look for ways to give back to you. Be ready to give
      4. Actives. You exchange valuable information with this person. This is the person you want to have a great conversation
      5. Advocates. They are ready to go out on the limb for you
      6. Allies. They are ready and willing to help you because you have known them for a long time
  • Anne cautions that you ruin chances when you ask for things too soon. She suggests six meetings before trust is created. People must see your character and competence before trust is given
  • Job leads often come from people they know, so it’s not through the 1st person (one of the six) but the 2nd (one of the six’s contact)

About the Author

Mark Anthony Dyson is The Voice of Job Seekers. He writes for the unemployed, underemployed, and unappreciated job seekers.