Networking Up


You want to meet and network with the owner, the senior partner, the manager, or the top executive. You know, the decision maker. The one who can hire you or send you referrals. 

But that’s not always easy to do.  

One solution is to start at the “bottom” of the totem pole—junior staff or a lower-level employee—and work your way up. 

Ask them to introduce you to their boss or someone higher up the food chain and continue this process until you reach the head honcho. 

At least that’s what one networker says he does. He says it’s easier to learn about the company and the people who work there or own it, and easier to build trust with them.

Sounds like a plan. 

But there are other plans, like the one where you start with the person at the top. 

It will probably be more difficult to meet them, but if you do and you hit it off with them, welcome to shortcut city. 

On the other hand, the top people are constantly approached, assume you are a Klingon and have their shields up. Especially when they meet an attorney. 

If (when) that happens, don’t push it. Ask them who you should with at the company or in the group. If that person is at the same meeting, ask them to point them out to you. They will be probably introduce you.

If not, you’ve got the name of the person you should speak to and when you approach them and tell them, “Mr. Big suggested I speak with you” they’re going to pay attention because they don’t want to step on Mr. Big’s toes. 

Instead of “networking up,” you’re “networking down,” and they both work.

If you can meet the top dog at the company or group, go for it. If not, meet anyone and work your way up. Or sideways.

There’s more than one way to win friends and influence (the right) people.