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The Networker #22: The “ABCD so you can ABCD” Networking Approach

14 Jun, 2023
Read time: 3 minutes & 44 seconds

I love learning from successful entrepreneurs on how they’ve built their networks.

About how they’ve approached networking.

And how that’s impacted them to grow businesses and personal brands.

Danny Meyer is no different.

If you haven’t heard of Danny, he’s a guru in the hospitality game in the United States. Particularly New York and Las Vegas. Two of the world’s hotbeds for food and drink.

And hospitality is an industry where having a good network and strong reputation can make or break your success.

We’re always on the hunt for good spots to eat and drink, right?

I’ve listened to Danny on podcasts and read a couple of pieces from him (I’ve also been recommended his book ‘Setting The Table’ but not got around to it yet).

And just last week I listened to him on a recent Tim Ferriss podcast.

And what stood out, and what I got particularly drawn into, was the networking approach he attributes to his business and personal growth, in building relationships, and one he ensures teams across all his businesses buy into.

And it’s one I wanted to share with you and expand on.

It goes:

“ABCD so you can ABCD.”

Which translates to:

‘Always-be-collecting-dots’ so you can ‘always-be-connecting-dots’.

Essentially, always seeking out new information, learnings, or people to meet.

To then use that to see how he can help them, or others, with dots already collected.

Collecting dots. Then connecting them.

Meyer goes on to share stories later in the episode that attributes how many opportunities in his life, personally and professionally, have come from thinking and behaving this way.

Ultimately, through connecting people.

Or spotting where someone needs help and how he may be able to do so.

The power of this over time is enormous.

And, as emphasised through Danny’s experience, how that compounds and opportunities begin to arise.

It’s the long game – which is networking 101.

‘ABCD so you can ABCD’ is a different way of thinking about networking and your approach, and a visual metaphor to bring it to life.

It’s another reminder of leading with a curious open mindset, and having a willing to help approach.

Never estimating who you could help or be helped by.

That networking isn’t all about what you can get (collect).

But it’s also what you give (connect).

To make networking work, you have to be collecting and connecting dots.

Everyone you meet is a dot.

Or they may know someone that could be a useful dot.

Or have some information that means you help connect them with another dot.

How to apply it at your next event:

  • Never underestimate someone you are speaking to – they could know someone or something that could unlock an opportunity
  • Think connecting as much as collecting – once you’re in conversation at an event, you’ve collected the dot, now it’s time to think how you could connect them with others, or gather information to connect others with them
  • Lead with curiosity – what can you learn or find out about this person, their business, background, that could help you connect to dots already collected

Curiosity is something you’ve heard me talk about a lot in past editions of The Networker, and is something that this leans into.

I’ll leave you today with a powerful line from Danny to take with you from today’s edition:

“People will take exactly as much interest in you, as they believe you’re taking in them.”

And if you’re not interested or being curious, you’re missing out on lots of dots to collect and connect.

Happy networking, networkers.

Go start collecting and connecting.

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The weekly newsletter to help business owners and sales leaders network smarter.

1 networking tip, trend or tidbit – every Wednesday morning.

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