Expert Advice On Business Networking And Tips On Developing Your Networking Skills

Interview with Joe Tye

The following advice comes from Joe Tye — Joe is America’s Values Coach. He is a nationally recognized speaker on values-based life and leadership skills. He’s also the author of six books, including the international bestseller Never Fear, Never Quit: A Story of Courage and Perseverance.

Josh: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?

Joe Tye: I define Business Networking as follows: “Business Networking is a systematic approach to expanding the circle of people who know the specific ways in which you can help them.”

This is not just important, it’s essential. Especially at the beginning of a relationship the primary, and perhaps the only, reason someone will want to connect with you is believing that in some way you can be of help to them. Your job is to let them know the ways in which you can be helpful, so they think of you when their need arises.

Josh: Can you share one idea that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?

Joe Tye: When most people think of the word “networking,” it conjures up images of working the room, passing out business cards at the Chamber PM. I think of this as Retail Networking. It’s important, but not terribly efficient if you want to quickly expand the circle of people who know how you can help them.

Wholesale Networking, on the other hand, is the art of creating the feeling of a relationship with every individual within a larger group. You do that by speaking and by writing. I’m astonished at the number of professionals (managers, realtors, insurance agents, etc.) who can spend hours smoothly “working the room” handing out business cards, then get transformed into Elmer Fudd the instant they are asked to speak before a group or write a compelling article.

The CEO of a company that produces corporate training videos once told me that if you want to really reach an audience, you have to have s e x with them: you have to create a Significant Emotional eXperience. And the only way to touch people emotionally is by telling a story. The single most important skill for becoming a great Wholesale Networker is learning how to tell a story in a way that touches people emotionally. Stories sell.

When I’m giving a speech, I illustrate every key point with a story, and the stories relate back in some way to what I can do to help my listeners achieve their goals. Likewise, I use my e-publication Spark Plug to create relationships with people I will most likely never meet, but many of whom I can help by sharing the values-based life and leadership skills and strategies that we’ve developed over the years.

* You can learn more about Joe at