Improved Networking Through Education Generating Relationships Increases The Yield


The Words We Receive with YouTube Link

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I asked a business associate, “How can I help you?”  He told me that he needed a distribution network for his existing product and some new items he was adding to his offerings.  That same day I had breakfast with a lady who works in the area of advertising specialties (logos on coffee cups, knives with a message, letter openers, etc.)  I mentioned my associate’s need during casual conversation.  I was so surprised by her response that it caused me to write this article.

When I was asked to connect my associate with a distribution network, I immediately thought of transportation and existing conventional distribution (trucks, rail, and airplanes.)  I immediately sent out a request to my distribution network asking who they could refer my client.  I targeted my request to professionals who work in conventional distribution for referrals.

The lady who works in advertising specialties asked me, “Why did you not think of me?”  When I told her of my client’s needs, I was shocked at her question.  How could she help fill my associate’s needs?  The answer is that she distributes products and distributes those products worldwide.  I had never thought of her or people who do what she does as distributors.  I have known her for 10 years.  I see her at least once per month.  I was receiving words with inside the box thinking versus receiving words using outside the box thinking.  Thinking outside the box when it comes to problem solving can be helpful and leads us to new/better solutions.

Another lesson learned is that sometimes answers come to us from places that are least expected.  Just putting things out to the universe will allow answers to come to us.  My associate, who needed the distribution solution, asked me at the appropriate time for a solution.  I asked him at the right time how I could help him.  Engaging people with concern for being of service to them can often deliver positive results that can be measured, yet not anticipated.  Doing good delivers good deeds.

Had I been a more active listener it could have led me to a different distribution answer.  Active listening can be the key to receiving information.  As an active listener, we listen first to understand, rather than listen to be understood.  There is a slight difference between the two.  When listening to understand, we want the person speaking to us to get their message to us clearly.  When listening to first understand what the other person is saying, we digest the words in our thought process.  Then feed back, in our own words, what we think we understood.  This gives the generator of the idea the opportunity to correct our understanding.

When listening to be understood we are generating information for a listener who we want to understand our words.  We can see if the listener is getting our message by looking at facial expressions, body language, and checking understanding by the listener.  This is especially effective when teaching a class, working with a subordinate, or delivering a presentation.  In one such case I was delivering a lecture to a class of college business students.  I was using the word networking as in interaction with people.  Five minutes into the lecture I noticed blank stares on the faces of most of the students.  This class was hearing the word networking as in computer networks.  With both listening to understand and listening to be understood, asking questions can help us when receiving/delivering words.

Most would agree that in the case of the distribution associate, I might have been a little hard on myself.   I pride myself in being an open minded, outside the box thinker.  In this case, I felt like I was getting stuck.  Some might correctly say that the person in advertising specialties should make it clear when marketing their company that they can also serve as a distribution source.  I, in turn, could have asked myself an outside the box question such as, “Is there another solution besides conventional distribution?”  In either case the message is to be an active listener, putting our best offers received/delivered out in the universe, so that “How can I help you?” can always be answered.


Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with people in business who want to attract the right prospects and generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His book series, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, are available on the website,

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started INTEGRITY.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is a Distinguished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information, call (888) 584-7073.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 2103 Wedgewood Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to  For more information, go to

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