A cigar can be a catalyst in social relationships.
Between the edges of individual recognition and of social ostentatious behaviors, we may find some good practical ways in which cigars are instrumental to craft the relationships that we are seeking and to drive engagement within our community: the trade, the herf, the bomb, the pass,… are described in this article by Gary Korb.
You may also find interest in the idea of John R. Dade, financial service professional and founder of the Cigar Night Business Mixer. The purpose of the Cigar Night Business Mixer events is to “encourage and support other like minded business professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs looking to grow thriving businesses through personal introductions and quality networking, while sharing the enjoyment of great company and a good cigar. Their goal is for all of their members to have…”A Smokin’ Networking Experience”!
Business networking can be challenging for some people. The structure of networking events is not always benefiting everyone, it can be dry and boring. Often organizers offer educational sessions and some people are more motivated by the presentations and less by the networking. You may try to change event type, but can end up meeting the same type of businesses that bring colleagues within the same businesses. Some people have interesting pitches, but what we look for is true connectors.
John found something that works better for him and quite a number of other cigar lovers: “if you think you are not a good networker, then start networking in your own way”. Networking with cigars changes the dimension from work to relax very easily. John wrote a book with all the steps to be successful in creating your own networking group: “Is Your Networking Net Working?” The book extends the advice to anyone who wants to set up a business networking group, even if the passion that connects people together is not a “politically incorrect” one, like the one for cigars.
As John says: “Creating a networking group for cigar enthusiasts is important because it brings together like minded individuals from all walks of life. In the case of our Group, it are Business Owners, Professionals, Executives who share a passion for a fine cigar and can enjoy that endeavor without feeling like an outcast or being looked at critically, all while combining Business Networking in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. I believe it is a kind of “support group” for a segment of the population that enjoys the Cigar Lifestyle, but is frowned upon by the general population.”
Sharing stories about a shared passion is John’s secret to building business relationships with no sales agenda. Join John’s Cigar Night Business Mixer Group – Orange County or contact him to start your own.
On a side note, Franca is starting The Cigar Culture Group. The objective is to discover or broaden our knowledge of premium cigars, one topic at the time and through guided tastings. If you are in the Carson-Reno-Tahoe area, join us!