Our premiere issue of Networking Times (way back in a prehistoric June 2002) featured an article entitled, “What Do I Do When My Names List Runs Out?” Its author, Bob Burg, has been a regular contributor ever since, and there is no one on the planet more eminently qualified on this topic. A perennial favorite speaker and trainer among networking audiences, Bob is author of the classic Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts Into Sales, and the underground bestseller Winning Without Intimidation. His latest book, The Go-Giver (coauthored with this editor) became a Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek bestseller and has been translated into sixteen foreign languages. Bob is also a former Palm Beach County/Brooks Brothers Leukemia Society Man of the Year for his fundraising efforts, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Safe Harbor, the Humane Society of Jupiter, Florida. — J.D.M.
Bob, how did you get into this line of work?
I started out as a broadcaster, first in radio then as a television news anchor—which I was thoroughly horrible at doing.
I had no feeling for the news. I was too positive. My idea of a good newscast would have been to say, “Good evening, everyone, I’m Bob Burg. In the news tonight, everything’s great! Go to bed—I’ll let you know if something happens.” Tom Brokaw, I was not.
I moved into sales, but found I had no idea what I was doing. To be kind, let’s just say the training I received was not the best. It was pretty much, “Go in there, tell them whatever you have to in order to make the sale—and after they sign the contract, get out before they have a chance to change their mind!”