Interview with Andrea Nierenberg

Andrea Nierenberg
Andrea Nierenberg

Called a networking success story by The Wall Street Journal and deemed the Queen of Networking, Andrea Nierenberg is founder and President of The Nierenberg Group.

With a stellar 25 years as a leader in sales and marketing, Andrea is an in-demand business expert both at home and abroad. Her company partners with an array of the world’s leading businesses, including Citigroup, Time Inc., TIAA-CREF, The Food Network, Omnicom, Coach, Deutsche Bank, Tiffany and Douglas Elliman Real Estate, to name just a few.

Andrea speaks in cross-cultural settings, international companies and conferences. Her travels have taken her to 45 countries across Asia, Europe and Africa as well as the US. As a respected author and quoted expert, Andrea has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Selling Power, Sales & Marketing Management, Inc. Magazine, The Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Entrepreneur, and Training & Development. Her corporate experience and wealth of expertise make her a familiar face on television with numerous appearances on popular outlets such as Bloomberg Business Television, Time-Warner’s Fortune Business Report, Fox News Chicago, Wall Street Journal Weekend, and PBS/The Business Channel.

With all this and more to her credit, you can imagine how honored I was to be allowed an interview. Who better to turn to for superior networking advice than the Queen of Networking herself? Here’s what she had to offer.

If I’m not a naturally charismatic person, how do I begin to network better?
Networking is a buzzword that frightens people. When used as a verb I say it’s simply helping other people. Listen to others and find a way to create some commonality and/or help that person. Being open, curious and just remembering to give yourself permission to engage in the process makes it easier

I often hear, “I have quotas to fill and sales to make. I don’t have time to network.” What would you say to people stuck in that frame of mind?
Networking out of need never works. It’s not about what you can get, especially not until you have developed trust and rapport. If one doesn’t make time to create and build connections you certainly won’t make sales. In fact, incorporating some of the everyday networking tactics is what we do when selling – following up, building advocacy, saying thank you. Formal networking events are just a sliver of real networking.

With children today being so focused on instant messages and emailing how do we teach them the face-to-face networking skills they’ll need to succeed?
First talk with them and show them that 55 percent of how we communicate is visual and 38 is tone of voice. We now have 4 generations at work so we all need to know how to communicate with each other. I have learned to text and I still know that eyes and ears are powerful senses we were given and that people need to really connect and talk with each other.

Many say, “I’m pretty good at networking in person but I’m new to social media?” What tips can you offer for building relationships online?
When done strategically- it works. There are many forms of social media. Pick one and learn how it works. Get familiar and realize you are building community. Don’t try to be all things to all people and one size does not fit all. I am still learning how it all works and take the inch by inch rather than yard by yard. – It is a cinch method. It is hard.

I know that a lot of people only consider networking when looking for work or new clients? What else is it good for really?
In a word, “life”. It is relationship-building, developing and cultivating. It is always about giving and growing first; not about getting.

Does networking matter if you don’t know influential people to network with?
Everyone we meet deserves respect and anyone can teach us something – even what not to do. I tell folks to turn that attitude around and know that “influential” can be deceiving. The young assistant may be the manager tomorrow and/or have the ear of the CEO!

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Andrea Nierenberg is the author of three bestselling books – all of which have become essential reading for businesses worldwide.

Nonstop Networking: How to Improve Your Life, Luck and Career – used by companies as a business development textbook and a top seller at Amazon.com.

Million Dollar Networking: The Sure Way to Find, Grow and Keep Your Business – the ultimate textbook for her corporate clients.

Savvy Networking: 118 Fast & Effective Tips for Business Success
 – a critical tool for professionals looking for simple ways to boost their businesses.

To explore new possibilities, establish better relationships and start enjoying an even greater level of success with The Nierenberg Group visit http://www.nierenberggroup.com/contact.php.


I welcome your comments! No part of this article may be reproduced in any manner without permission and attribution.

  • Ray

    Andrea is probably the first person I have witnessed to give an authentic view of “Networking.” In this article she uses words like Picasso uses paint to provide us the true picture for networking, which is, giving/investing in yourself AND other people.

    All (not some) of my professional life I have witnessed a rapacious view of networking. Thanks Andrea for beaming forth light to dispel the myth of “Networking.”

    • NVS

      I agree, Dr. Ray. Andrea’s was one of my all-time favorite interviews. She gets it and doesn’t mind sharing the details. I also like how Aileen Pincus shares in her interview how she reconsidered a pitch after the first one went bad – read that one here: Interview with Aileen Pincus

  • We know Andrea too, she’s a Platinum WomenCentric.net Member and we LOVE her! She is fantastic – spot on in her advice and very inspirational.

    • NVS

      Thank you for your comment. What did you take away from the article exactly?

  • Cat Wagman

    Hello, Patricia!

    Andrea is one of those special people who is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to nurturing business and professional relationships. Your interview with her is another fine example of what she has to share.

    I’m delighted to say that I have known her since the early 1990’s when we met during FDMA Days in Fort Lauderdale, FL. And, she graciously gave me a testimonial for my book!

    • NVS

      Thank you, Cat! I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. She’s a pleasure and I very much enjoyed my radio interview with her as well.

  • Toni McIntyre

    Thank you for this helpful article. I appreciate her attitude.

  • Pam Davis

    Great interview! I am one of those people that shy away from “networking” as a concept. I know how necessary networking is in business and in life. I like the idea of thinking about helping people as a form of networking.