Top Secrets to Networking – with Mike Macedonio

by Wendy Soon on March 19, 2014

networking_bannerNetworking is “the process of developing and activating relationships to increase your business, enhance your knowledge, expand your sphere of influence, or serve the community.”


At tonight’s meetup, Mike Macedonio shared with us his theories and tips to networking, collected from his 50 years’ of networking experience, be it establishing his own business, or helping others build their networks.


  1. Have a clear message you want to convey – Don’t start networking before you know what you want out of it. Going to a networking event blindly is almost as good as staying home. You can receive if you don’t even know what you want. Go with a goal in mind, and work towards it. For example, know that you are looking for a CEO, then target the business experts at the event. Or if you know you need a designer, then just focus your attention at the designers present. If you are out there to look for a job, be clear about it too!

  2. Start with a “sharing” mindset – Networking is not just about yourself, but about the people you are networking with too. You need what they have, and they too need what you have. Know what you can share and offer to the other party, and use that as a hook. People will be more eager to talk to you if you also have something to offer that is of interest to them.

  3. You can network any time and anywhere! – It is a way to help others (not just to help your business). At any event, honor that event, think about what that event is about, why people are gathering there, then think about how you can offer your service to contribute to that event. With that mindset, you will naturally start to network anytime and anywhere.

  4. Diversify your network – Don’t stick to only 1 kind of people you think are the most important to network with. There are many ways people can help you and offer you things that you need, whether or not you know it or planned for it. Also, having a diverse network could increase the chances that you have something to offer to the other party – if it is not from yourself, you know someone who can offer what he needs. So keep your network as diversified as possible to maximize the potential benefits.

  5. Include a testimonial – “A well crafted testimonial is the vaccination to sales objections.”

  6. Avoid invisibility – A mile wide, and an inch deep. Going to an event, meeting as many people as you can, collecting namecards, and staying only long enough to convey your missions statement (e.g. you need to buy insurance, I sell insurance!) before moving on to the next person. That’s the most common type of networking people do. But that’s the most invisible way of networking. Everyone sees you and gets your business card, but they have insufficient time to have a real conversation with you, let alone remember you after 5 minutes. Networking is not just about making first degree connections, but increasing the number of referrals after — the latter cannot be achieved if you only form invisible connections. Hence, make sure you make an impression with the people you network with. Quality is way more important than quantity.

  7. Clients aren’t always the best source of referral – We always assume that if we do a great job, clients will be the best source of referrals. However, do think about the possibilities of that being untrue. Clients can be jealous, and they may think that referring you to other people will draw attention away from them. Referral is also a very passive process, and we cannot expect that clients will actively refer you to their own networks, if they don’t have anything they stand to gain from that action. There are 8 sources of referrals, and clients are only one of the 8.

  8. Be ready to invest both time and money – Effective networking takes time. Average business invests 6.5 hours a week in networking, but goes up to 25 hours a week. Each client could involve 10-25 hours of your time before you seal the deal. Selecting your network and who you spend your time is very important in maximizing the efficiency of this time spent networking. Considering marketing costs, networking costs you minimal amount of money. Networking can cost ~$2000-3000 a year, but that is nothing compared to everything you’re spending on marketing. Figure our your time and money budget, so you can plan your networking efforts wisely.

Mike Macedonio is a New York Times Best-Selling author, speaker and franchisor. He and his business partner, Dr. Ivan Misner, co-authored “The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret, Building Your Business By Referral” and “Truth or Delusion, Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths” which has hit several best seller’s lists. 

Mike is the Managing Partner of Referral Institute. By using the referral strategies that he teaches, Mike has built his company from a small training and consulting company to a franchised organization with over 60 locations in a dozen countries within 6 years. He is also a Co-Executive Director for BNI in the Bay Area. In this role he helps thousands of local business owners build their businesses through structured business networking.      

Mike gives back to his community by volunteering. He holds a position on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit organization caring for abused or neglected tigers and lions. When he is not helping entrepreneurs and big cats, he has a passion for his wife, cycling and mountain climbing.  

Previous post:

Next post:

free hit counters