Networking the "Good Ol' Boys"-Follow Up

Real Estate Agent with HomeTowne Realty, Johnston County NC 221530

This is a follow up to a previous post that can be found here.

OK, so I attend the seminar and am blogging about my experience so you can learn to NOT do what I did.
I recently attended a seminar led by Gary S. Davis, a North Carolina native, and expert speaking on Networking in the South.

As I walked up and introduced myself to Gary, I mentioned that we have a mutual friend in the business (looking for some kind of connection), then I proceeded to tell him about myself, what I do for a living, what company I work for and about my family and the reasons we moved here from Southern California.  I tend to mention that last fact because I think a lot of people like to ask that inevitable question "What brought you all the way from California to Johnston County, North Carolina?".  Gary was very engaging in our conversation and was very polite.

 He began his talk with a few jokes about southerns then proceeded to explain that it was necessary for us to define "Networking" before we can learn how to use it in the south. In Gary's words, "Networking IS NOT networking at a networking event".  Standing in a room of people who want to talk about themselves and give you their business card in hopes that you will hold onto it for that one crucial minute that they say, boy I'm glad I held on to that card.  When really our thoughts go to "I do not care about you at all".  "Networking IS about getting on other people's list."

Who is on your list?  You know that list of people that you would do anything for in the middle of the night.  That person you would do anything for to help them succeed in business and life.  That person you want to just be around because you are attracted to their personality, virtues, and general presence.  Your list may be small or great.  But how many lists are you on?  And how to you get on that list.  "Networking is about who you are to other people.  It's the story you build."  This is not something that happens overnight.  It's is a slow growing process.  Consider it a dating relationship.  Once you've decided you like this person, then it may become more intimate.  Then of course, those lifetime relationships are equivalent to marriage. 

So Gary suggested to check our "Appropriateness Compass" and take it slow:

1.  Use Small Talk-like a pick-up-line, bring up something that is general to everyone.  ie: sports, the weather, restaurants, shopping

2.  If you like this person then bring it in.  Talk about family, likes and dislikes, hobbies

3.  Maybe it's time for lunch.  But be sure if you do the inviting-pay for it.

4.  Find what it is that you have of value to bring to them.  Something low cost or no cost to them (ie: giving them a small token or gesture that is of value to them if they receive it from you, but requires nothing back)

Gary ended simply that when in the south, take your time, don't rush to be in people's faces and begin to expect much right off the bat.  Develop and nurture the relationship and the rest will come.  It was a great time and thank you Gary for the great idea.  I now have a compass.

 "Gary Davis is an expert speaker on business networking.  He conducts networking seminars for corporate planning outings, association meeting and sales retreats"  visit or call 919-696-5565

For your Johnston County NC and Clayton NC needs, call Tracy Riba with Re/MAX Classic Realty      919-637-0004

Comments (9)

Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants


How exciting for you and your family to relocate from Southern California. Being that I am from Southern California, networking has taken on a unique style called rapport building. Yes, we now all want to build rapport --- along with networking. How fun.

Apr 18, 2008 02:20 AM
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate
Sounds like a good presentation, and he sounds like an excellent speaker!
Apr 18, 2008 02:24 AM
Larry Fleckinger
HouseMax Pro Realty - Melbourne, FL

Tracy, What a great description of Networking!  Thanks for this valuable information!  I have never heard it put in these words before.

Apr 18, 2008 02:26 AM
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC
Here in the south it is all good ol boy.
Apr 18, 2008 02:44 AM
Debbie DiFonzo
Debbie DiFonzo - United Country VIP Realty, SW Missouri - Lebanon, MO
Lebanon MO and Buffalo Missouri Real Estate

Very powerful stuff Tracy. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

I have to admit, I've never thought about networking in these terms and in all I've ever read, never heard it put like this. BUT, it makes perfect sense.

Moving from Chicago to rural Missouri, I've tried to do what Gary recommends. And, boy is he right - it's a slow process!

Apr 18, 2008 03:08 AM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Thanks Tracy

I have had more contact with southerners lately, so the insight is welcome.Steve

Apr 18, 2008 03:28 AM
Jesse & Kathy Clifton
Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK
Southern California to Clayton, NC.  That's got to be a little bit of a culture shock.  Kathy and I will call NC home in the next few years and can't wait. 
Apr 19, 2008 08:52 PM
n d
Naoma Doriguzzi - Virginia Beach, VA
You have to build the trust before you start asking for the business.  I do not refer my clients to strangers. 
Apr 20, 2008 12:03 AM
Jason Pedley
The Real Estate Copywriter - Clayton, NC

I don't get to do enough face-to-face networking these days. 90% of mine is online. Talk about tough. At least face-to-face you can see reactions, hear intonations and react immediately. Online, you have nothing but the words on your screen.

This is interesting, considering we've 'known' each other for a while, live in the same town AND have never met!

Jun 20, 2008 12:39 AM