Posted by: G. Lane Cavalier | October 11, 2007

Networking: “Reverse Investing” as a Networking Strategy

This is another topic that I can’t give proper credit because the genesis of this thought came from a TV program that I only watched a part of.

Basically the concept is that Networkers could learn a few things from “Politicians”.

The concept presented was that good or successful politicians understand something that most of us do not. That is that when someone gives you a contribution (or does a favor) it isn’t something that is “repayable” in most instances, it is instead an “investment” in you as a person.

In theory, a politician gets a donation from a supporter. The normal person thinks that the politician is beholden to the supporter, but politicians understand that the power actually shifts in the other direction. This person has now made an investment in their success and as such is more beholden to the politician. The person really can’t choose to contribute to an opponent because this would be like wagering on both sides of a sporting event, your going to loose.

An analogy was used to the person who hired you for your first job, they also have invested in you and would tend to be more likely to help you succeed because it is easier than letting you fail.

I was trying to take this to the next step to networking. I have a tendency to want to help people (and I fully agree with the strategy of giving first), but it made me think if we as networkers shouldn’t occasionally ask for something from our fellow networkers therefore allowing them to “invest” in our success. Like the proverbial snowball rolling down a hill, if you get someone to make a small investment in “you”, then they are going to be eager to make another investment, etc. etc.

This is just one of those random thoughts, don’t know where it will take me, but maybe I’ll start asking for more “small favors” in the future!


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