Network Like A Warrior: Tom’s Three Things

Tom Lunney, one of our top advisors here at American Small Business Centers, is one networking warrior some of you may know personally.  For those of you who don’t know:  Tom’s not a “sugar coat and top it with a cherry” kind of guy.

His 20+ years of experience may be unknown to many of us, but this gentle giant is bound and determined to tell it like it is.

After our Quarterly Matchmaking event 2 weeks ago (thanks to all of you attendees), he observed our interactions and thought maybe we could use some no-nonsense insight into how we should approach networking.

Below, he shares some of his thoughts behind networking for the pros.  Say goodbye to networking like it’s 1990.

Hit it Tom!networking event Cincinnati

1.  Get Started:  

Just find a networking meeting and go.  Choosing the best networking event to attend is an instinct that takes time to develop.  But your small business networking strategy must start somewhere.

So ask your competition, friends, co-workers, landlord, mailman, bartender, etc.

The telephone is NOT your friend and phone calls don’t count as networking, unless you’re asking the person on the other line what networking events they recommend.

2.  Get Going:

Once you actually get in the habit of attending networking meetings on a regular basis, you’ll get into the groove.  But make sure that you’re evaluating your efforts on the connections you’ve made, NOT your cost of goods sold. 

Remember, collecting business cards is not networking.  However, it IS a starting point.

Use that contact information to begin nurturing your leads.  Follow up with the people you’ve already met.

An email will suffice – keep it short, simple and sweet.  Ask them to coffee or see if they have a few minutes to chat on the phone.  Prepare a list of 2 or 3 possible connections for them and be prepared to give before you receieve.

3.  Get over it:

Have a fear of meeting new people?  That’s too bad.

Nervous about sending an email to people you don’t know?  Get over it.

Don’t think you can sell?  You’re right.  You can’t.

Leave your bad attitude at home.  It has no place in business.  Your job is to make people eager and happier to see you arrive than to see you go.

What else is important for us to “get over” when it comes to networking?  How do you handle your networking strategy?



  1. Tom was one of the very first people I met when I had first started networking as I begun my business almost a year ago. I was nervous, scared and didn’t know what I was doing! He has been a great networking mentor, I have come a long way!