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The Art Of Networking
Networking Basics and Other Fun Stuff
June 23, 2005
• Why network?
• The 10 Most Common Mistakes
• How do I build my network?
• Getting the most from association and group meetings
• Networking one-on-one
• Your elevator speech
The Networking Circle
Referral Sources & Partners
• You can improve your professional and personal life
• Become a valuable resource to others
• Increase your influence in the community and with different
• You become part of everyones’ “A” list
• Break into groups (3 or more)
• Ask each other questions (A question can only be asked once as you learn about
each of your group’s members. You can’t just tell your story – you have to answer questions.
Someone take notes):
– Learn something personal that most people don’t know
– Learn about a problem each member is having
– Figure out a way to help them with that problem
• What did you learn?
– You have to ask a lot of questions in a group setting to keep interest high and
– Group brainstorming can solve problems – it just needs to get moving
– How did it feel to have others help you with a problem?
The 10 Most Common Mistakes People Make
1. What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) Attitude
2. Making no attempt to recognize a lead for the people in
3. Expecting an immediate Quid Pro Quo
4. Forgetting to thank attempted and successful referrals
5. Making reckless or low quality referrals (Follow up)
6. Not taking time to help promote others in your network
7. Not investing time every week to help others (Who might
like this article?)
8. Thinking short-term
9. Letting your network form haphazardly
10. Making no effort at helping people manage their careers
How do I build my network?
• Which groups should I join?
• Once I join a group, how do I make the most of it?
• What other ways can I develop my network?
• How do I get back in touch with someone I haven’t spoken
to in a long time?
Which groups should I join?
• Industry specific organization
• Wine Tasting Club, Book Club
• Create your own
The most important thing is to attend, and be engaged
Sponsored by Finewine.com
Once I join, how do I make the most of it?
• Really get to know your clients, friends, referral sources so
you remember them
• Do your homework – learn about those you want to meet
• Concentrate on helping others – LISTEN, ask questions
• Engage in “High-Energy” conversations
Engaging in “high-energy” conversations
• “What do you love most about your work?”
• “How would I know if I were talking to someone who would
be an ideal client for you?”
• “What’s the most notable trend in your industry?”
• “How did you get started in this business?”
• “Which of your major competitors do you fear most?”
• “How do you tell the great (job title) from the good ones?”
More “high-energy” questions
• “What’s the most exciting project you’re involved with right
• “How has the state of the economy affected your
• “What’s the most interesting book you have read in the past
three months? What made it interesting?”
• “What’s the best wine (hiking trail, etc.) that you’ve had?
• Think on your feet
• One group will challenge one of the other groups and then
state a category. That group has 10 seconds to come up
with one “high-energy” question concerning that topic. If
they get it, they control the next topic and challenge.
• What did we learn:
– It’s not always easy to come up with a question
– Nor an “engaging” question
– The flow of conversation is empowered by knowledge and your
ability to make connections to different topics
What other ways can I develop my network
• Join the membership committee
• Volunteer to be the host of an event, or act like a host
• Become a speaker for your group or other groups
• Enroll your spouse
• Create events or your own network
– Office Wine Tasting
– If you sponsor tickets to something invite people you want to get
to know better, not those you already know
• Call a contact and ask their advice on anything
• Have a Golf Clinic, etc., invite some clients and tell them to
invite one friend
• Ask a fellow board member, “ I’d like to learn more about
you and your company (breakfast, Lunch)
Exercise #3: Devise a plan to meet one person
Mitch Haddon, president and CEO of Colonial Webb Contractors, a Richmond-based construction firm, but
he usually relied on an informal approach. On occasion, he would send managers to a class at a nearby business
school to fine-tune communication skills or update their understanding of contracting techniques. But, he
explains, “It was always more tactical, task-oriented training.”
Last fall, however, Haddon suddenly decided to send his entire staff of division managers through a structured,
customized executive education program. The reason? The increasing difficulty he has in hiring senior
executives. “You really can’t find people who are already skilled and experienced in leadership roles,” he says.
“So now we’re trying to train into those positions.”
To ensure that the division managers would have access to relevant material, ColonialWebb nixed the idea of
sending them through traditional open-enrollment classes. Instead, Haddon worked with the University of
Richmond to create a customized leadership development program…
Economist Anirban Basu and Comcast Corp. executive Michael C. Parker are joining the board of the
Baltimore City Public Schools.
Gov. Robert Ehrlich and Mayor Martin O'Malley jointly appointed the two new members to a three-year term. They also
reappointed education consultant Kalman R. Hettleman, who has been a board member since January.
Basu is chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group in Baltimore. He is a regular contributor to the Baltimore Business Journal and
the radio station WYPR-FM.
Parker is vice president and general manager at Comcast in Baltimore, where he is responsible for all aspects of the
company's cable television operations.
Exercise #3 Continued: Plan Outline
• Research them to find out their “vision” and “strategies”
– Google, Press/Media Sections of website
– Their hobbies, events/groups
• Email your network
• Take the information and develop an introduction
– Richmond target
– Baltimore target
Avoiding random acts of lunch, golf and the like
• Don’t “wing –it” – prepare for meetings
• Whether it’s an event, prospect or client – prepare
– Do your homework
– Prepare 5 questions for the meeting, event, golf, etc.
– Ask for an Advance
– 1)a commitment 2) to action 3) in a definite timeframe
– Follow up
• Breakfast, lunch, dinner, sporting events, meetings etc.
• It’s a mistake to keep your personal and business life
• Transition a social discussion to a business discussion
– “Has attendance at a “Nationals” event ever affected your
business life in any way?”
– Have you met any other business leaders while on one of your
During the meeting
• Listen while the other person does most of the talking
• Help the person reduce his or her “worry pile”
• Ask for your friend’s opinion or advice
• Ask “high-energy” questions
• Ask transition questions
• Look for mutual benefit
• Think like a lion, don’t get stuck in a herd
• Think about putting people together
• Have some high-energy questions ready (think passionately)
• Act like a host (Find common ground by asking questions)
• Look for a specific person
• Have a game plan before an event
– Make calls to meet with clients, COI’s, prospects
– Call the conference speakers that have interesting topics and ask them about
their talk. Then look them up before or after the event.
Measuring success after a group event
• You make at least one calendar entry to do something for
someone you met, then follow through on your commitment
• You call someone whom you enjoyed meeting where the
conversation was interrupted and suggest a meeting
• You engage in at least one high-energy conversation
• You make at least one introduction while at the event
• You find the person you are looking for
• Send note immediately after the activity
• Add them to your newsletter database
• Jot down all pertinent information – get in Salesforce.com
• Contact in a week or two
• Maintain contact and relationship
Using the group to network
• Develop a list of 5 companies or people you would like to
• Combine everyone’s list and put it up in different offices
– Ask employees to let the partner or director know if they know
someone in the company
– Gain introductions and begin to learn more about the company
• Take Your Top 10 list and email it or meet with your COI’s,
friends, etc. to review it and gain introductions
Your elevator speech
• “What do you do?”
(Tip: answer it as…)
• “What is it you love most about your work?”
– It’s more energetic
– Draws people into the conversation
– Your answer is more memorable
• Exercise – Let’s do it!
– As a ___________, I get to/help (benefit to clients or enjoyment you get),
most recently helping (name a client or give a story) increase/save/improve
their (the ultimate outcome).
Five tips to help you succeed in the name game
• Find a way to use a person’s name immediately
• Really look at people when you meet them
• Capture their stories and use them to keep our memory
• Stop telling yourself and others you have a bad memory
• Don’t say your name during an introduction – wait -- listen
• Ease up on yourself
* RSM McGladrey Inc. and McGladrey & Pullen LLP have an alternative practice structure. Though separate and independent legal entities, the two firms work together to serve
clients' business needs.