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How the World’s Most Successful People Network

Jan 30, 2024

CEO’s, billionaires, world leaders, and intellectuals attend the World Economic Forum every year in Davos Switzerland.  Chip Cutter and Emily Glazer wrote a recent article for the Wall Street Journal entitled, “How Davos Elites Work the Room”.   They view this annual event as the place to be for new opportunities, deal making, big ideas, and for building relationships – new and old.  Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce was quoted as saying., “The amount of serendipity that happens is unlike anything I have ever experienced.”

Guess what?  They “work the room” (hate that phrase) using the same skills, tools, behaviors, and strategies that are part of the Contacts Count approach to networking.  Many of the examples the article cites are embedded in one or more of the 8 competencies Contacts Count has created to help people learn HOW to network.  The world’s most successful people network just like you and me.

 The Take a Strategic Approach competency is all about getting a return on your investment for the time, energy, and sometimes the money you spend networking.  Whether that is having lunch with someone or going to a networking event.  The attendees at Davos google the names of people they want to meet.  They read up about the people who will attend.  All of which makes for better conversations.  They think about the locations and venues where they are likely to meet others they want to connect with.

 Take a Strategic Approach means thinking about what your goals are when it comes to building relationships.  Who in your current network might be able to help you?  is there someone you know could help you, but they are not in your network.  How do you find a way to connect with that person.

 The Networking Gracefully competency is all about the rituals, norms, and etiquette when it comes to having conversations with others.  The name exchange is a ritual that always occurs when meeting someone for the first time.

Not very good at remembering names?  Join the crowd.  Most people cannot remember names.  There are behaviors you can learn that will help you remember names.  Absent those behaviors, listen to what Alisa Cohen (an executive coach attending Davos) says when she can’t remember a name: “Listen, this had been a great conversation and I’ve already forgotten your name.  Can you remind me?”  Simple and straight forward. And guess what, they have probably forgotten her name as well.  If it has been a great conversation and you want to continue building the relationship be sure to exchange info on the spot using your phone.

And what about the long dull conversation you have with someone.  Or the one-way street conversation where the other person just keeps talking and talking. Nick Studer, head of the consulting firm Oliver Wyman Group says, “Anyways, it’s obviously fantastic chatting with you.  I mustn’t keep you from your other guests.”  At Contacts Count we suggest, “Thanks for your time.  Enjoyed getting to know a little bit about you and what you do.  There are several other people here that I need to catch up with – so please excuse me.”


Thoughts, comments, questions – email me at vern@contactscount


 About the Author                                                                      

Vern Schellenger, President and CEO of Contact Count.

Contacts Count is the premier coaching and training organization dedicated to helping you use the power of human connection to transform your career, business, and life.

Vern is dedicated to empowering professionals and entrepreneurs with the strategies, skills and tools to master networking (even if they are introverted and don’t like networking events).

What drives me is a steadfast commitment to enriching lives through the profound power of human connection. I am devoted to instructing individuals on how to engage in networking that not only fosters trust-based, mutually advantageous relationships but also profoundly influences both their professional and personal spheres. This is where my heart truly lies, in the realm of human relationships and the transformative impact they hold. Every moment that allows me to contribute positively to another's journey fills me with immense gratitude and fuels my passion even further.



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