The Very Honest Networking Tips You Need to Hear - Work in Sports Podcast e109

People are clumsy and awkward at networking, myself included. These honest, raw tips will help you form a networking game plan that will work.

Hi everybody I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

For those of you new to the podcast, every Monday I answer a fan question regarding their sports career… if you have a question you want answered on the show, email me at – or you can connect with me on Linkedin and ask there…or better yet, join our private facebook group by searching for the Work in Sports podcast on facebook.

Now here’s the deal about that – real quick note – when you ask to join there are three questions you need to answer. This is how I know you are legit, and not a Kenyan overload who just needs my social security number to send me 5 million in Kenyan Schillings.

It’s pretty simple – what is your favorite episode of the show, who would you like me to get as a guest, and have you given the show a review.

Just say something to prove to me you are actually interested in being part of a group that is talking about sports careers. If you don’t answer the questions, I assume you don’t have a real interest in networking with like minded individuals pursuing their sports career. So answer the questions!

Also, if you submit a good question and I answer it here on Mondays… you get a free month at Work in the leading job board for the sports industry. Seriously, we’ve been doing this for 20 years, we are the number one job board for the sports industry, with over 7,000 available jobs right now, and last I checked you only need one…sounds like pretty good odds!

So that covers Mondays… on Wednesday’s I interview sports industry experts about their career, how they got started, what they look for when hiring, challenges they face… all the good stuff.

We’ve had on people from every major sports league in just about every possible role you can imagine. The good news is, all of the past episodes are just as relevant today as they were the day they published…so go back and listen, lots of great guests and information!

Alright, let’s get to today’s question --

Great question this week from Wes in Indiana,

“Hi Brian, this is Wes in Indiana (thanks Wes but I think we already established that) I’ve been reading about your sports career accelerator event coming up in September and I’m strongly considering going. You mentioned there will be an big networking event the first night with executives from the major sports teams, local minor league teams, agencies, and other sports organizations. That in and of itself sounds like an incredible opportunity.

But here’s my question. I’m never sure how to behave or engage with people at these kinds of events. Do you have any tips to maximize the experience?”

Wes, great question.

I am not a natural born networker. I admire the people who can just step out there and are so comfortable in their own skin.


Listen in to the podcast episode for more details on how to network with sports executives

1: Change your frame of mind. – they’ve been asked to attend, they are there, they knew when they agreed to coming what it would be like. Embrace that fact.

2: Have a game plan – no life stories, quick intro, get into a specific question. Duringt he conversation try to slip in things you have done.

Let’s role play shall we:

You introduce yourself – eye contact and handshake. Hi I’m Brian, I’m a senior at the University of Delaware, studying sports management – how are you?


You: "One thing I’m really trying to get a better understanding of is what employers are looking for when hiring, so for you what is the most important skill you look for when hiring new staff”

Your target says “well, I want someone who has revenue generating experience, the ability to sell product and affect the bottom line is a skill every business needs”

You: "That makes a lot of sense, during my internship last year with the Baltimore Orioles I was with the Inside Sales team and it became apparent to me how important that sales experience and connection to revenue  would be for my future…next question – how did you land your first job?

Keep the dialogue going.

3: Key to interviewing—don’t spend the entire time thinking about your next question. Then yo uaren’t paying attention to their answer…and that’s the part you want! Their expertise!

If you aren’t sure about questions – go back and listen to some of my past interviews. So far I’ve done something like 40 expert interviews with about 10 questions each… that’s 400 questions I’ve come up with, and they are unique to each interview… no copy/paste crap on this show!

4: do not offer to buy someone a drink.

5: Get contact info – and give

6: Connect on linked in – add a note

7: Follow up

That’s’ how this works Wes. So sign up already for our event, I’ll be there and you can practice on me before you talk to someone who is actually important from the Hawks, Braves, Falcons, United etc…

Go to work in sports dot com /Tremont / atlanta   and lets do this.

That’s it for today’s QA on Wednesday – Betsy Lauritzen, Asst Director of New Media and Fresno State – very cool interview. Talk to you guys then…

By Brian Clapp | August 13, 2018
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