The “It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You” Networking Mentality

By: Brian D. Stanchak, @BDstan

This past summer I was provided the opportunity to speak on the topic of networking at the National Collegiate Recruiting Conference in Nashville, TN and the Rising Coaches Conference in Las Vegas, NV. The topic of my presentation was, “It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You." This phrase is key to the motivational aspect of cultivating relationships and expanding a comprehensive network.

What does “It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You” mean? It refers to the people that truly know you as a professional and/or a person and, among those people, whom of them thinks something positive about you that motivates them to respond to a call of action. Too many times, someone will call on another person only when they need something. However, having a person that truly knows you is established through a relationship that is built and maintained, not just when one side needs something.

How do you establish a relationship where another person really knows you? Let’s look at an example of an assistant basketball coach who is pursuing a head coaching position. The assistant coach realizes that a Senior Women’s Administrator at an institution where they used to work is familiar with the Director of Athletics at the institution where the head coaching position is available. Before calling on the Senior Women’s Administrator for assistance, the assistant coach must answer two questions. 1. Did they make a good impression while they were at the institution with the SWA? 2. Did they maintain follow-up with the SWA since they left their previous institution? If the assistant coach can answer “yes” to both of those questions, the SWA will be a valuable resource to utilize in pursuing the available head coaching position.

It is critical to remember that relationships cannot be forced or rushed. Relationships take time.  It is never too late to start networking, so why not start today? Begin re-establishing and further developing relationships with administrators and coaches at current and previous institutions. Do so with the goal and mindset that if the administrator and coach had an opening on their staff or within their program, you would be someone they would easily consider.

Brian D. Stanchak is the Founder of The BDS Agency, LLC, a management and marketing agency that exclusively advises, markets, and represents basketball coaches. He can be reached at brian@thebdsagency.com and followed on Twitter @BDstan.

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