I’m determined to break out from my blog’s all-female guest post bias. It ends this month with Keith Reynolds of The Networking Exchange (TNE). I’ve never seen anyone run a business networking group with as much heart and determination as Keith does. If you’re a southern New Jersey or Philadelphia business owner, you should meet Keith Reynolds and experience TNE for yourself:
By All Writes: Why did you decide to start The Networking Exchange? When did you found/start it?
Keith Reynolds: I started TNE for several reasons. I have a passion for connecting with and helping people. Also, I’m the worst cold caller ever! And, after joining several networking organizations, I felt that each one offered unique and important benefits, but there wasn’t enough ongoing interaction beyond monthly lunches or breakfast meetings.
So, we put together a structure that complements the networking groups to which you might already belong. I strongly believe that no one networking group is anyone’s magical solution to growing their business. I started The Networking Exchange in 2011.
BAW: What services do you offer your current and potential TNE members?
KR: We offer our members a variety of ways to showcase their business. They can attend the daily “Lead Exchange Meeting” of their choice as an opportunity to cultivate leads and referrals. Members can also sponsor educational functions when those events are scheduled. And, they can tap into our database of 28,000 email addresses to promote sales/offers and events on behalf of their business.
A unique experience now available to TNE members is being on the air during our “Talk Exchange Radio” show so they can discuss their business and industry. All these opportunities and more are available to our membership, but the most important thing we offer is sincere support. We are here to help!
BAW: Who makes a good TNE member for you?
KR: If you had asked me this question when we first started TNE, I probably would have replied, “Anybody!” One year out, we definitely look for certain qualities in our members. I deliberately look for people who are true givers, because these folks “never look in the mirror when they’re giving.” They give because it’s intrinsically a part of who they are.
Another thing we look for is commitment to the organization; members should strive to attend at least two TNE events monthly. The ultimate quality I wish for our members is self-commitment. We can open a lot of networking doors for people, but we can’t make them walk through…
BAW: What is your ultimate “happy moment” when working with your members?
KR: I enjoy when people who don’t know each other make a strong connection. I also love when a “newbie” comes to a TNE function for the first time and I see them get energized. My ultimate “happy moment” is when a networking connection transforms into a job, sale, or project for any of our members!
BAW: If you could relocate your business networking group to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
KR: I have to be honest – I really love the East Coast. I enjoy being near the Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, D.C. metro markets. Since I always think big, the real question should be: Where would I EXPAND my business? Believe it or not, I would establish an outpost for TNE in Texas. You know, because “Everything’s Bigger in Texas…”
BAW: What is your favorite book (or who is your favorite author) to read and why? Please share generously!
KR: One of my favorite books is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable. I like the way the author, Patrick Lencioni, takes a fictional story and applies his principles to it. I also admire the fact that he expresses and admits we are all imperfect human beings and all equally guilty of personality/behavioral issues. I utilized many of his methods when I worked in the corporate world, and I use them now within TNE.
Looking to break free from your stagnated business networking efforts? Then check out one of The Networking Exchange’s events soon. Feel free to contact Keith Reynolds directly at either firstname.lastname@example.org, 888-894-3555, or 609-744-6170. Tell him the radio-shy writer who needs to overcome her mental roadblock sent you!