Are You a Networker, a Schmoozer, or a Shiner?

Are You a Networker, a Schmoozer, or a Shiner?You’ve seen them work a room.

They work the room with casual chitchat. They go from one person to another with the goal of slapping everyone’s back. Never more than a couple of minutes with each person or else they won’t make it around to everyone. They want you to be their friend for a few minutes. They’re the ones taking pictures of everyone else. The casual talk is often gossipy or ingratiating.

They are known as the “Schmoozer.”

You’ve experienced them in a meeting.

They want to meet one-on-one with you. They have an agenda that often includes getting something from you. They do all the talking – typically about themselves. They look right through you and you know that they could care less about you than what they’re after (or letting you know they are the best). When the time comes for you to commit to something and you don’t, the meeting is over. They want nothing to do with you ever again. You didn’t give them what they wanted.

They are known as the “Shiner.”

You meet with someone who listens to you and your needs.

They ask questions about you and your business and interests. They are trying to understand how they will be able to help you. How you can help them is secondary. They are a giver and not a taker and are more interested in you than themselves.

They are known as the “Networker” or the “Connector.”

Which of these individuals will typically exhibit a trait we know as “Arrogance?” In other words, which of these individuals will feel the need to tell you how good they are?

Which of these individuals will exhibit the trait known as “Confidence?” They will let their actions speak and allow you to come to your own conclusion. They are confident in themselves.

Don’t waste your time with the “Schmoozer” or the “Shiner.”

Good luck and good networking.


6 Responses to “ Are You a Networker, a Schmoozer, or a Shiner? ”

  1. September 18, 2013

    Wow…great post! I sure don’t want to be either a smoozer or a shiner! Equally important, I don’t want to waste my time with these folks. You’ve given us some good tips for recognizing these two types, so do you recommend a quick but graceful exit from these conversations?

  2. September 18, 2013

    Great article. Right on target!

  3. September 18, 2013


    This is spot on. You can almost spot them as soon as you enter the room and certainly within 45 seconds of initial conversation. I like to count the “I’s” that are said in the first few sentences. If they are more than 3, I can tell where this is going.

    The most effective networkers and the ones I find myself wanting to spend 5 more minutes with are the ones who simply introduce themselves, find something to break the ice, and then ask about the other person. The only “I” I am looking for is their name and how they know the event sponsor.

    The trick is not to get lulled into talking too much about yourself and to remember to ask them more about themselves and/or how my story might resonate with theirs and vice a versa.

    It seems that some people feel that their job is to conquer the room and collect people rather than listen and value the other persons’ story.

  4. September 18, 2013

    Wow, I am not trying to brag but I really do think I am a networker. Stew you are training me well.
    Good article.

  5. September 19, 2013

    Stew, Thanks for posting useful information and for creating such a great organization.

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