Imagine Growth

People are lazy

Posted by: Mike Nathan | Posted on: February 14th, 2014 | 2 Comments

“People are lazy” rang through my head this afternoon in response to a question put to me. This is a time honored tenant for me – not because I believe people do not work hard nor do I believe they are not well intentioned. But when it comes to networking, I cannot rely on them to make the introductions I rely on as a guy who lives and breathes on introductions.

The well meaning gentleman who sat across from me at coffee is a good friend. A great guy. And I know by his track record, to think of him as lazy is an insult both to him and to my thoughts of him. The question was simple, “How do you want me to introduce you to (A level prospect)?”

Ten years ago I learned something from Steve Stoup – a senior guy at a bank here in Minneapolis. Steve and I would grab coffee and within the next 24 hours I’d get a flurry of emails that went like this:

Rich Gall is a good friend of mine and an expert in this, that, and the other thing.

John Doe is a great guy to know and is a player in this, that, and one more thing.

You two should meet to discuss project A, interest B, and the fact that you’re both excited about C. If you find the meeting not
worth your time, I’ll reimburse you for the coffee.

This was brilliant stuff to me and I started imitating his style. It was easy to pick up and great for building strategic relationships. But after a few years, I found it wasn’t the best format for prospecting. And Steve was diligent at networking. He developed interests and connections that got him into high level opportunities. But as a guy trying to build my network, I needed a sharper blade.

So today, while sitting with Brian Forrest, video production artist and editor extraordinaire, I thought through the past few years around where I’ve had the best success.  People aren’t really lazy, but they don’t understand the perfect edge of the messaging you want to place before your prospect. As I’ve evolved, I’ve honed what Steve taught me (even as he has elevated his own craft!) into this. I take Steve’s idea and be the proactive party.


I see you know Mike at (A list prospect). I’ve been impressed with what they have done around initiative A, B and C. We work well with companies who do those kinds of initiatives because of Case Study X. I think we could help them increase their growth just like we did with Case Study Company.

Would you be open to passing along this email with your thumbs up? I’ll offer to take them to lunch and – hey, everyone eats lunch, right?

Thanks. I really appreciate it.


This email gets passed on more than 50% of the time. Not all – some people lie and don’t do what they say. Or, more realistically, they aren’t paid to help me develop my business so the email gets guiltily forgotten and ends up getting deleted thirty days hence. But as I sat across from Brian this afternoon, I realized how efficient this had become. The right relationships in, with the right messaging, can get you in any door. I just have learned to make it easy for my friends.

Comments (2)

  1. Kristy Gusick - Reply
    February 16, 2014

    Great post Rich! So true!!

  2. Pingback: The Networking Coffee Meeting from Heck - Next Stage Growth - Next Stage Growth

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