Understanding the frog chain and how to ‘Work the Pond’ for your business
Special to the Nevada Appeal
We’re all just frogs in a pond according to Darcy Rezac, author of “Work the Pond,” the bestselling book on the benefits and how-tos of networking, Rezac forms the premise of his book on the old adage, “you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.” So it goes with networking for as he writes, “we are all frogs until we find the right match.”
In networking you want to meet enough frogs to become a “frog about the pond” and to turn some of those fellow frogs into business contacts of princely proportions. The good news is that you don’t have to kiss any frogs, just hand them you business card!
Rezac identifies five different types of frogs in the frog chain:
The Royals or the princes and princesses of networking are so few that to spot them is very easy for even those on the way to royalty sometimes find networking a hard task.
Most of these frogs could be politicians or on their way to becoming politicians.
The Tree Frogs are the unusually good networkers. What they know and who they know sets them apart though few make it to royalty. The Tree Frogs can be spotted all around town. They rarely miss an opportunity to make their business known and join as many social and business networking organizations they can afford. Even when they are out volunteering and doing good community deeds, these tree frogs seize every opportunity to self promote. Some of the most successful real estate agents fall into this category. They’re still making sales where the Just Frogs have fallen off their lily pads.
The Chorus Frogs have decided to take the plunge into the pond and finally join in the full chorus. Once reluctant, they have found that being a part of overall chorus is not so intimidating after all. Some Chorus Frogs learn they enjoy networking so much they even move on up to become Tree Frogs. They learned by attending enough functions they become more comfortable as they begin to recognize more faces and shake more hands.
Just Frogs are those who rarely come out of the weeds to participate in networking events. They like staying Just Frogs and not venturing out to sing in the chorus to grow their business. They venture into the pond once or twice deciding that the pond life is not for them. Then they ribbit all too loudly when their business does not thrive, not facing the fact that no one seems to hear them or remember them for they are so lost in the weeds.
The Toads are those who move down the frog chain and one rarely runs into these. These are the frogs who wonder why their business is not succeeding and why no one knows about their business. They join nothing; they are seen nowhere and they can’t even carry a tune!
Rezac has been a successful networker for over 20 years and has come to the conclusion that “while not all successful people are great networkers, all great networkers are successful people.”
Networking is all about attitude. Those who participate in networking events are just like you. They want to meet you as much as you want to meet them. They have the very same insecurities but have learned to overcome them. They have learned that being seen everywhere make a difference. Couch potatoes they are not!
Networking is not just a business term. We network in our everyday lives: in our
church, at the grocery store, at parties and any venue where people gather. Working the Pond keeps us interested in our surroundings and makes us an integral part of the community.
There are a variety of ponds out there: Fraternal organizations, social organizations, churches, business groups, alumni associations, civic groups, chambers and more. In today’s business climate, joining one or more organizations makes good business sense.
Dip that toe into a pond today and watch what happens.
(“Work the Pond” by Darcy Rezac, Prentice Hall Press, 2005).
– Ronni Hannaman is executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce.