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Zen Garden > SEMINAR 3 - "THE AWESOME POWER OF NETWORKING" featuring Bob Burg.

When I found out that Peter Sinclair was planning his third International Live Chat Seminar I became very enthusiastic about it. You see, I was one of the panelists on the very first International Live Chat Seminar so I knew what to expect.

Again I watched the live chat in real time and again I was impressed by what I saw was unfolding. It is one thing to read hundreds of books on motivation, self esteem and personal development subjects, but it is something else to witness this information presented "live."

Again I offered Peter my services as the Editor of the seminar. This means that I turn spoken words into written words. The nature of the chatline means that lots of text ends up out of order. I take it apart then put it all back together again so it makes sense.

As usual, I want to congratulate Peter and Ben Sinclair for hosting the seminar and praise Bob Burg for sharing his information freely with us.

The seminar is copyright material so it may not be used without permission. However, you may print it out for personal reference or study.

I commend the following seminar to anybody aspiring to improve their life by understanding personal relationships better.

This is the edited transcript of the LIVE CHAT conducted by:

Peter Sinclair ( on 28 February 2003 with:

Bob Burg (

The chat was scheduled for one hour and the subject was:


[The chat commenced at Midday, Friday, 28 February 2003 - Brisbane, Australia time]

Peter Sinclair: Hi Bob, I just want to welcome you formally to our live chat today.

Bob Burg: Hello Peter. It's a pleasure to be here.

Peter Sinclair: OK Bob, let's get straight into it. Four decades ago a concept called "six degrees of separation" was announced. That concept stated that all of us, through our social networks, are within 5 or 6 connections with anyone else on the planet. I thought it was a pretty powerful statement Bob. How would that fact impact the power of networking as you know it?

Bob Burg: Peter, in my opinion, it pretty much shows that he or she who masters the art of building relationships is many, many steps ahead of the game.

Peter Sinclair: So is networking just about building relationships?

Bob Burg: Networking will always be about people and not about things. No matter how good the things. It is not "just" about building relationships, as you said, but without the relationships nothing else happens.

Peter Sinclair: So if you were asked to define networking what would you write?

Bob Burg: I define "networking" as the cultivating of mutually beneficial give and take, win/win relationships. The emphasis is on giving. The "super networkers" who are the most successful networkers tend to be the biggest givers.

Peter Sinclair: So, with that in mind, is giving the only quality you'd suggest we develop to become more effective networkers?

Bob Burg: No, not at all. It just happens to be one quality of a successful networker.

Peter Sinclair: Bob would you please expand on that?

Bob Burg: Sure Peter. What a networker does is constantly reach out and develop "mutually beneficial," give and take, win/win relationships with people. They do it on a continual basis. The successful networker does this by planting seeds wherever he or she goes. In essence, they are following an intelligent, workable, proven "system" for networking success.

Peter Sinclair: You just mentioned a "system." Can you elaborate a bit more on that system?

Bob Burg: I recently heard someone discuss the power of systems by saying that systems permit ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results, predictably. However, without a system even extraordinary people find it difficult to achieve even ordinary results, with predictability.

Peter Sinclair: So through your years of experience what system have you put in place to become a more effective networker?

Bob Burg: Peter, allow me to give you an example. McDonald's isn't as successful as it is because it has the best hamburgers. It is successful because it has a proven system for success. Any franchisee can use that system, even if they had no prior experience in the restaurant business.

Peter Sinclair: Bob, how would the average person acquire such a system?

Bob Burg: I would suggest people begin by realizing certain basics regarding networking. To me, the "Golden Rule" of networking is this: All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust. It all comes down to that. Having understood that, the networker should have a goal. That goal is to establish, develop and cultivate trusting relationships with people. This creates an environment whereby people feel so good about the networker that they want to see that person do well. They want to be a source of referrals for that person.

Peter Sinclair: You are speaking about integrity?

Bob Burg: Sure. Integrity has much to do with it because you MUST be the same person you are projecting. If not, the phoniness will eventually come back to haunt you. How many times have we seen that happen? A smooth talking person builds their business like a "house of cards" and eventually it all comes tumbling down. That often happens because the integrity just wasn't there.

Peter Sinclair: Bob, can I get right back to basics for a minute?

Bob Burg: Sure. Go right ahead.

Peter Sinclair: How would you advise someone who is starting out in a new career or a new business? How would you advise them to start networking?

Bob Burg: I'd advise them to begin building their network now. The next thing I would tell them would be to realize that every person you meet knows about 250 other people. Thus, every time you build a relationship with one new person, where that person knows you, likes you, trusts you, wants to see you succeed and wants to help you find new business, you've just increased your personal sphere of influence by about 250 potential people. This happens every single time!

Peter Sinclair: Where would you start?

Bob Burg: Begin by going to places where you will find people that you want to meet. This could include almost anywhere you can think of. Businesses and social functions are great places to start. Of course, if you have a particular niche market that you target, you can aim for there. The big thing is in knowing how to relate to someone, once you meet him or her.

Peter Sinclair: In your wonderful book "Endless Referrals" you write about networking etiquette. Can you tell us more about that?

Bob Burg: Sure. Perhaps it would be best if I gave another example. Let's say, for instance, that you see a person who you have heard is a true "center of influence." He or she knows a lot of people and has a great reputation. I would recommend that you introduce yourself to that person in an unassuming, humble manner. Let them see that there is no pressure.

Peter Sinclair: How do you recommend starting up such a conversation?

Bob Burg: Peter, the best thing to do is to ask that person questions about themself and their business. After all, that's what they're most interested in... at least for now. This way, there is no pressure on you or that person. I suggest asking what I call "feel-good" questions.

Peter Sinclair: So you're looking to give rather than to receive, listen rather than speak?

Bob Burg: Precisely!

Peter Sinclair: Can you give us examples of some of the questions you use?

Bob Burg: These are questions that are totally non-threatening and simply make that person feel good about themselves, the conversation, and you. It's a great way to build the initial rapport. Let's go through a couple of them right now. The first question I'll often ask is: "How did you get started in your business? This question is very effective because it gives the person "permission" to "tell their story." Practically everyone loves to do this. Strangely enough, very few people are ever asked such a question. So, here is you, this person they just met a minute ago, asking them such a nice, feel good question.

Peter Sinclair: The most important word in the dictionary is 'me,' I guess?

Bob Burg: Yes Peter. Pretty much to everyone, that word, "me," is about the most important. It's one of those "human nature" things taught so well by Dale Carnegie.

Peter Sinclair: Sorry Bob, I interrupted your answer. You were giving examples of "feel good" questions. What would be some of the other questions you would ask?

Bob Burg: The next question I will usually ask is: "What do you enjoy most about what you do?" This is a truly "feel good" question. It elicits a feel good, positive response. What's interesting, Peter, is that, in a sense, this question is contrary to what a lot of sales people are generally taught. So often they are taught to find the pain of their prospect. Sales people are taught this so that they can cure it with their great products or services. I have found that there are a couple of challenges with that approach...

Peter Sinclair: I think we are getting into a really interesting area here Bob. There will be so many sales people who will benefit from a new approach to selling. What are the difficulties that you see with traditional sales approaches?

Bob Burg: One is that the person is not yet ready to share that kind of information with you. You just met. The rapport has not yet been properly established. Also, even if you were never to do business with that person, so what? The key is that he or she knows 250 other people that they might be able to refer you to. So, instead of going "in for the kill," just establish the rapport and make that person feel good about themself. In other words, instead of finding his or her pain, find their joy. Now, let's say that, after these first two questions, you can tell that a real rapport is being developed... That would be the time to ask, what I call, the "One Key Question." That question will set you apart from the rest.

Peter Sinclair: And what's that Bob?

Bob Burg: That question is: "Peter, how can I know if someone I'm speaking to would be a good prospect for you?" This is a very effective question for two reasons. First, you have shown again that you are interested in "him." Very few others are. Second, you've basically asked him to help advise you on how to help him find new business. Most people tend to appreciate that.

Peter Sinclair: That's fantastic advice Bob. Recently, I read a quote by Cavett Robert that said: "You have to make contacts to get contracts." How true is that?

Bob Burg: Excellent. Cavett was a great man. He was a truly nice, generous, human being. He also said: "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." That makes for a good "sales" trivial pursuit question.

Peter Sinclair: I'd be willing to play that game with you Bob. Now, can I talk to you on how one can develop a million-dollar "rolodex?" What strategy should one put in place to develop that?

Bob Burg: Great question. You do it one person at a time. Then you will start seeing the exponential multiplication. One great way is to put people together. Be, what I call, a connector of people. For instance, two of the guests I know you had on recently are two of the best at that technique that I know. I speak, of course, of Josh Hinds and Mike Litman. Both of them have built huge, successful, profitable networks by being wonderful connectors of others. Their ability is in setting good people up with other good people.

Peter Sinclair: Yes, I must admit, they are both very adept in this area.

Bob Burg: They are an information resource. They are continually providing value to others! A great book I recommend regarding this is entitled "Love is the Killer App" by Tim Sanders. This book takes networking to a whole new level. It's an awesome book.

Peter Sinclair: Now Bob, it's one thing to develop a large network but how does one maintain it?

Bob Burg: We maintain it by continually nurturing it. By that I mean nothing more than, in a sense, providing great "service after the sale." This can be achieved by letting people know you're thinking of them, continuing to connect with them and connecting them with others. Also, as we were discussing earlier, having the personal integrity to earn their like and trust in you. Keeping that trust is of prime importance.

Peter Sinclair: How can that best be achieved?

Bob Burg: What's great, of course, is that we have so many new media with which to keep in touch. It's now so much easier than it ever used to be. The internet has revolutionized the art of keeping in touch. However, we must always keep in mind that a tool such as the internet is just that. It's just a tool and never a replacement. High tech must always be outdone by high touch.

Peter Sinclair: Bob, I recently came across the concept of the power of leveraging in developing networks. One of the suggestions was to network the networks. Are you able to enlighten us on what that means?

Bob Burg: That's an excellent question...

Peter Sinclair: Go for it Bob!

Bob Burg: It was brought up in the excellent book called "The One Minute Millionaire" by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen. Networking the "center of influence" of a particular network is like taking the "one person knows 250 people" concept and multiplying that exponentially over and over again. Imagine cultivating a relationship of the "know you, like you, trust you" variety with someone who has a huge list of loyal customers. That cuts down the "prospecting time" immeasurably, which is a wonderful idea. Of course, the concept itself has been around for ages. That's what a "center of influence" is - someone who can connect you with a ton of people. You can be very effective with that "borrowed credibility." On the Internet, it just sort of turbo-charges the potential numbers you can reach quickly.

Peter Sinclair: But as you wrote before, "high tech must be outdone by high touch." That is such a powerful concept. Can you say more about this?

Bob Burg: Sure. We must never forget that all-important concept. People do not do business with computers. They do business with "people." They will only do business with people they know, like and trust. So, above all else, we must always be human beings connecting with other human beings. It's really as simple as that. However, that simplicity often gets lost in what I call the "internet shuffle" which we are seeing more and more of.

Peter Sinclair: The "internet shuffle?" What do you mean by that Bob?

Bob Burg: The "internet shuffle" - the tendency to believe that if you can somehow utilize all the technology possible then you'll somehow create a lot of business. And we know that usually this just doesn't work.

Peter Sinclair: Thanks Bob. Now, there is one word that I would like to discuss with you. That word is "positioning." How do you do it and how important is it?

Bob Burg: In a sense, positioning is "everything." I think Reis and Trout, the co-authors of the book "Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind" described it perfectly. They basically said that people have this tiny area in their mind for your particular product or service. So, what is it that you do that says: "Hey, I'm the only person who sells this or that who you should be buying from or referring to?"

Peter Sinclair: Can you give us an example?

Bob Burg: Take, for instance, a jar of peanut butter on the shelf at the grocery store. Just getting that jar of peanut butter onto the shelf is difficult. The next consideration, before any sale is made, is the fact that the jar has to stand out from all the other brands that are also sitting on that shelf. Somehow and in some way that jar has to say: "take me! take me!" Of course, that's a whole new session in itself. Maybe you can get Reis or Trout to come on and speak about that.

Peter Sinclair: I'll talk to you about that later Bob, if I may. So, it's establishing yourself as the expert in your chosen field?

Bob Burg: Yes. Most definitely. That is so important. And, depending upon your field, there are various ways of doing this.

Peter Sinclair: OK. Bob we are just about out of time; I'd like to ask you just one more question.

Bob Burg: Go right ahead.

Peter Sinclair: If there were one piece of advice that you could give our readers on the subject of prospecting, what would it be? The reason I ask is that prospecting terrifies a lot of people. Can it be turned into a fun event that will add value to our lives and the lives of others?

Bob Burg: That's a very interesting and important question. The whole idea of the concept I teach is to be able to have fun. The key here is that when you put the other person first, it takes the pressure off you. Pressure-free prospecting is definitely fun.

Peter Sinclair: So your advice is to put the other person's interests and values first?

Bob Burg: Most definitely.

Peter Sinclair: Bob, it's been a pleasure. I have really appreciated your input today. I'm sure our readers will too.

Bob Burg: Thanks Peter. I am so pleased that you asked me to be with you today. I think what you are doing with this ongoing chat forum is wonderful. It's a great forum for people to be able to plug into. Please thank Ben for me as well.

Peter Sinclair: I'll stay in contact Bob. Our readers should check out Bob's website and grab his books. What you have read today is just the tip of the iceberg of Bob's incredible knowledge on the awesome power of networking. Thank you Bob. You're fantastic!

Bob Burg: Thank YOU Peter. Make it a great day!

[The chat concluded at 1.03pm, Friday 28 February 2003 - Brisbane, Australia time]

Biographies of the LIVE CHAT Participants:

Bob Burg:

Bob Burg regularly appears on the motivational rally circuit featuring speaking legends such as Zig Ziglar, Tom Hopkins, CNN's Larry King, Dr. Denis Waitley, Mary Lou Retton, Coach Lou Holtz, radio legend Paul Harvey, Les Brown, Brian Tracy, former U.S. President Gerald Ford and many others. Bob's articles have been published internationally in hundreds of professional and trade magazines. His books are used by both individuals and companies to gain important interpersonal skills necessary for success! Bob is the author of "Winning Without Intimidation :How To Master The Art Of Positive Persuasion", "Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts Into Sales" and "Gossip: Ten Pathways To Eliminate It From Your Life And Transform Your Soul." Bob believes in the free enterprise system, and puts his business success skills to use for charities as well; having been named the 1994 Palm Beach County - Leukemia Society Man of the Year for his fund raising efforts. His background includes Television News Anchor, Salesman and Sales Manager, and in his "younger days", a New England A.A.U. and Golden Gloves Boxing Champion. Bob is a proud member of the National Speakers' Association. To sample Bob's free ezine on the topic of Positive Persuasion, visit

Peter Sinclair:

Peter Sinclair is a student of success and an entrepreneur. His vision is to help others reach their full potential, and the driving force of his life and his work is to lift people. Peter is renowned and respected as a dynamic writer & speaker, having his articles already featured in hundreds of ezines and magazines internationally. Thousands of people every week receive his Motivational Memos as Peter loves to impart wisdom into the lives of people all around the world. He is constantly creating and researching new methods to achieve that goal.

Ben Sinclair:

Ben Sinclair is the webmaster for Peter Sinclair's Website and the technician behind the chat session and the mastermind behind the forum and the chat forum.

This LIVE CHAT was edited by:

Gary Simpson:

Gary Simpson is the author of eight books. He is a prolific writer who has for many years been published in many magazines and newspapers across Australia and now rapidly around the world. Gary became involved in several network marketing companies in the late 80's which led him into a deep research of personal development. He is an avid reader with hundreds of self help books in an ever growing library. Gary lives in Perth, Western Australia and is a Company Director. He has professional experience in many diverse areas such as the public service, retail, private investigation, insurance and franchising. He is also a senior karate instructor with more than 35 years of continuous training. Gary's "Motivation & Self Esteem for Success" Website is located at

Gary Simpson is a 6th Dan karate master who teaches self defense, motivation, self help and wealth building to students around the world through home study courses. You may reprint this article as you include this author credit and an active link to his web site.

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