The Golden Rules of Effective Networking

Andrea Nierenberg

True Networking is about giving, building and developing relationships. It bothers me when some people think ‘networking’ is about keeping a scorecard. Someone might say:“ I’ve given you three client leads. What are you going to do for me?” Personally, I believe it’s always better to give than to receive and what you give comes back ten fold. When you look at business leaders, from Andrew Carnegie to Bill Gates, you see how their generosity in giving to others earns them a lot of good press and happiness.

When you give to others, you build up your own personal public image, which goes a long way in developing business contacts now and well into the future. To help you do this, here are what I call the “Golden Rules of Networking.”


  1. Respect other people’s time; it’s a precious commodity for everyone.
  2. Offer to help others sincerely. People can tell the difference between an opportunist and someone doing a good deed.
  3. Always convey appreciation. Gratitude can be in the form of a gift or a simple note of thanks. Either way, do it consistently.
  4. Share information. If you know something that can help someone, pass it on. Imagine if previous generations didn’t leave us their knowledge, the world could not progress.
  5. Follow up, follow through, and keep others in the loop. Avoid being a “missing in action” networker. Find a good reason to stay connected, even when there is no “breaking news”. You can always say thank you or something of interest.

One of my favorite sayings is, “Give without remembering and receive without forgetting.” Put this into action, it will come back to you in better ways than you ever imagined.

And remember: “Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.” Yiddish Proverb

All the best!

Andrea Nierenberg is president of the Nierenberg Group.
Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Print page