Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Reciprocity – The Implied Promise of Networking

Filed under: Network Training — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Jill Lublin and Rick Frishman, Guest Authors

In life, we all try to get things from each other; that’s how the world works and has always worked. From ancient times, we have been a people who belonged to tribes and clannish groups. We build societies in which we lived, worked, and raised families together. In these societies, each member had specific roles that he or she performed for the benefit of the group. We gave to and helped each other. And, we also received.

NETReciprocityNetworks operate on similar principles. When it comes to networking, an implied promise exists that “If you help me, I’ll help you.” This implied promise is the bond upon which networks and societies are built. Without the assurance of reciprocal help, many network members would not give. In networking, reciprocating, returning favors, and giving back is not merely expected, it demanded; it’s the price you pay to be a network member.

Network members are realist. They understand that most requests have more than one motive. They know that the reason given may not be all there is. They also know all too well that many good-intentioned individuals don’t or can’t follow through and deliver what they promised. Realists accept the fact that folks get busy, face other demands, and simply forget. What they won’t abide, however, is repeated, out-and-out exploration by those whom they have helped because networking involves giving and taking, not exploiting.

Remember the following four rules of successful, reciprocal networking:

1. You can’t always be the connectee; you must also be the connector.
2. You can’t always be the taker; you must also give.
3. To build a successful network you must be prepared to give at least two or three items for every one you receive.
4. Better yet, don’t count, just give.

Give generously; don’t skimp. If you expect to receive more than you give, you’ll be bitterly disappointed. Sure, if you may get away with being a skinflint once, twice, or even several times, but sooner of later people will catch on, feel abused, and avoid you. And if you get anything, it will be drastically less than you gave and probably more than you deserve.


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If you want to build relationships with the best, go the extra mile. Extend yourself, be lavish, and make grand gestures to impress upon your contact how far you’re willing to go to cement the relationship. To attract the best, give the best and give your best.

Train yourself to spot leads or opportunities for your network partners. To identify leads for partners requires you to understand their needs and how these needs can be best filled, Think of networks as friendships. Your connection to network members is a bond built on the same basic principles as friendship. They are:

• Helping
• Sharing
• Trusting

Both networks and friendships are intended to be long-lasting and enduring, not just fleeting or hit-and-run contacts. A network, like a friendship, will work only if you are asking, “What can I do for you?” If will not work if you’re only asking, “What can I get from you?”

Savvy players understand that networking fields are seldom level. The rich, powerful, and famous are usually better connected and endowed. They have more clout than others, especially newcomers who are just starting out. So, most beginner networkers must try harder, be more accommodating, more assertive, give more, and seize every initiative, especially when they’re trying to connect with people at the top.

Direct your efforts and give you contacts something they really want or need, anything less may be ignored or sloughed off. Jump the gun; instead of waiting for that powerhouse you’ve been courting to ask for a favor, find great resources that he or she could use and hook him or her up. To be a good network partner, you must help, help, help. And when you’re tired, help some more!

BONUS Article: Networking Events are a Waste of Time…

Copyright © 2014 – Jill Lublin and Rick Frishman. From the book, “Networking Magic.” Visit their Website at

RICK FRISHMAN, publisher at Morgan James Publishing and Founder of Planned Television Arts (now Media Connect), has been one of the leading book publicist in America for over 36 years. Appearing on hundreds of radio shows and dozens of TV shows nationwide, including Oprah and Fox News.

JILL LUBLIN is an international speaker on the topics of Radical Influence, Publicity, Networking and referrals. She is the author of 3 Best Selling books including Get Noticed…Get Referral” (McGraw Hill) and co-author of Guerrilla Publicity (Adams Media) and Networking Magic (Morgan James).


netHQLarry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”


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NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


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1 Comment »

  1. […] BONUS Article: Are You a Superstar Networker? Networking and Socializing – Never Confuse the Two Reciprocity – The Implied Promise of Networking […]

    Pingback by Give Generously and Graciously | Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James — Tuesday, December 16, 2014 @ 7:31 am | Reply

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