The Networker #43: Your Network Trust Battery

15 Nov, 2023
Read time: 3 minutes & 42 seconds

The Networker is all about helping you network smarter.

Some editions are practical.

Some offer a new way to think about your networking.

Today’s edition is one of the latter.

As I dive into an excellent metaphor I learned last week from Tobi Lütke, Founder of Shopify.

In understanding it, it’ll help you rethink and reconsider the actions you take when you’re networking.

For when you’re at events, and away of events as you’re building those key relationships.

I’d like to introduce you to your Network Trust Battery.

In the context of members of a team, Tobi Lütke shared a metaphor that he refers to as a Trust Battery.

And it can applied to your network too.

It works like this:

Imagine every individual in your network has an internal “trust battery”.

And that battery either fills or empties based on their interactions with you.

When you give to them without expectation, the battery fills. When you fulfil a promise, the battery fills.

When you break their trust, have a negative interaction, or don’t fulfil a promise, you drain that battery.

But here’s the kicker.

The more someone’s trust battery is charged, the more likely:

  • They’ll act and engage with you without much convincing
  • You’ll be the first person they think of, when they think of what you do
  • They’ll buy from you and recommend you just because they know and trust you.

For example, maybe you’re running an event and you need to sell tickets.

You go to those closest to you in your network to let them know about it and ask if they’re interested.

They say; “yes sign me up, I’ll take a couple”.

You think; wow, that wasn’t too difficult.

It’s likely their trust battery is nicely charged.

That’s the idea of the trust battery working at an individual level.

But you can also imagine a trust battery representing your overall network.

We’ll call this your Network Trust Battery.

How you fill and drain this battery is determined by:

  1. Your mindset and approach to networking
  2. Your consistent actions and behaviours when networking

For example, if your approach to networking is driven by the need to make a sale, you’re more likely to lead with actions that’ll impact your Network Trust Battery.


  • Pitching when you first meet
  • Not taking a genuine interest in others
  • Thinking what’s in it for you
  • Ignoring signals of referral opportunities

These are short-sighted actions.

Actions can drain your Network Trust Battery.

So, if it feels like you’re not getting much traction from networking. Or it feels like you’re can’t get your network interested in engaging with anything.

It’s worth considering the charge level of your Network Trust Battery.

It likely needs charging.

The battery may even be dead.

Particularly if you’ve just been taking from your network, and draining the battery.

Thankfully, there are some simple actions you can take week in, week out, to charge it up.

Here are 9 simples actions to get you going (that are free):

  1. Send a podcast someone might enjoy
  2. Leave a LinkedIn recommendation
  3. Post them a book
  4. Submit a Google review for their business
  5. Subscribe to their newsletter or mailing list
  6. Make a introduction to someone in your network
  7. Add a comment or engagement on their LinkedIn posts
  8. Invite them to an event, or forward details of an event they might be interested in
  9. Send a message asking what they are working on or what’s coming up for them

If you’re prepared to give, give, give – the battery fills up.

You do enough of these actions, your network becomes primed and ready to help, when the time comes that you need to ask.

The Wrap Up

I’ve met a lot of networkers focused on building the biggest network possible, thinking they can just play a numbers game.

But what they typically end up with is a big network, with a depleted Network Trust Battery.

Because it becomes more difficult to give to a vast network (doable with a good system – like the 12-4-1 Framework).

But the truth is this – it’s far better to have a smaller network with a full battery, than a large network on empty.

Most batteries you purchase come fully charged – but not trust batteries.

It takes consistent action + willingness to give + time to charge them.

How would you assess your Network Trust Battery charge level?

What actions can you take each week to ensure you’re charging it?

What Is The Networker?

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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