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Art of networking


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  • 1. Art of Networking
  • 2. Goal
    • Understand what networking consists of and realize that it is accessible to anybody !!
  • 3. Plan
    • Brief introduction
    • Context
    • Definition and importance of networking
    • Strategy – Tips and Advices
  • 4. Context
    • 60 to 70% jobs found through networking
      • % increases the more senior the position
    • 50 % of business opportunities comes from networking
      • If you are not developing your networks it is difficult to tap into those opportunities
    • Executives spend up to 20% of their time maintaining their network
    • We do only business we people we know and people we like !
    • Many entrepreneurs and business people suffer because of limited network
  • 5. Definition
    • Definition
      • Making connections
      • Building Internal and external alliances
      • Sharing information
      • Symbiotic process
    • “ Networking is the key to success in business” Keith Ferrazzi, author of  Never Eat Alone
  • 6. Summary - Why is it important ?
    • Because it favors and enables
    • Attracting new or different work opportunities
    • Access to many business opportunities
    • Getting the right help when needed: advice, introduction, entries..
    • Access to customers
    • Access to investors or sponsors
    • Identifying and getting talented people
    • Staying up-to-date with industry and business trends
    • Maintaining inhouse or industry visibility
    • Gaining new ideas, new insights and even new knowledge
  • 7. Why are we afraid ? Is it for us ?
    • Networking is a challenge or mystery for many people.
      • Many see it as insincere at best, manipulative at worst.
    • Unclear payback…need to feel productive
    • Not reinforced by culture, compensation system, promotion criteria, or other mechanisms
    • Not good at it, don't enjoy it, therefore someone else should do it
  • 8. How to network ? Strategy
    • 4 critical steps
    • Reflexion
    • Planning
    • Execution
    • Follow-up
  • 9. Networking strategy - Reflexion
    • Develop a professionnal plan or «personal business plan»
      • Where do you want to be in the next 5 years ?
      • What do I want to achieve ?
      • Entrepreneur, Executive employee …. ?
      • What are the main stakeholders and actors in that journey ?
    • Develop networking goals
      • Goals should be clearly defined and written down
      • Who are the most priority people to meet ?
      • Who can be helpful for achieving my goals ?
      • Who shall I develop relationship with ?
      • How many people do I want to build relationship with ?
      • What do I want to get from them ?
  • 10. Networking strategy - Planning
    • Develop A Specific Action Plan
    • Structured plan and process
    • Plan your network – think 5/10 years ahead
    • Focus on “up and comers” (next CEO)
    • Where do I have to go ?
    • Who from my network shall I solicit first ?
    • How shall I approach people ?
    • Structured plan and process including
      • Conferences/ Industry Meetings
      • Membership to Professional Associations
      • Involvement with Alumni
      • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
      • Community/Social Gatherings
      • Exploitation of Social Media
  • 11. Networking strategy - Execution
    • Prerequiste to proper execution
    • Plan to become known as a powerful resource for others 
      • People remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc.
      • This keeps you visible to them
      • So be knowledgeable, expert in one field !!
    • Define, write down and learn by heart your story or elevator pitch
      • what you do and why, for whom ?
      • What makes you different ?
    • Define clearly in order to formulate it correctly
      • What you are looking for ?
      • How others may help you ?
      • Too often immediate answer comes to mind to that question "How may I help you?"
  • 12. Execution - basic principles and values
    • Think relationship building (based on trust) and mutual benefit
    • Focus first on increasing loyalty with your current network
    • Use the power of reciprocation : “ I will be your customer if you will be mine !“ (garage example)
      • Consequence: always provide support and help to people when needed !
    • Give more than you immediately get
      • the "getting" will come later ... and it will come in unexpected ways. 
    • Don’t expect instant gratification from networking
    • Keep in good and regular contact with your network (live entity)
    • Focus on Low cost/high impact added value
    • Do Teach/Don't Sell
      • “ help other people feel good about themselves or be successful”
      • Keith Ferrazzi
  • 13. Execution - basic principles and values
    • Have fun ! Make it both professionally and personally rewarding
    • Share your contact network and make introductions
    • Make networking part of your daily (monthly) routine
    • Focus on quality contacts versus quantity
    • Do respect and value referrals
    • Successful networking is a matter of
      • Authenticity - Generosity
      • Determination - focus
      • Organization
  • 14. Execution – First approach
    • Smile and show that you are approachable
    • Make a positive first impression
    • Ask questions: to join a group engaged in conversation.
    • Ask open-ended questions to get to know more about people 
      • who, what, where, when, and how ? shows listeners that you are interested in them.
    • Listen more than you talk: with genuine interest !
    • Concentrate on what you can offer or give to that person or group
      • It’s a two way street – Offer something in return
    • Reformulate interesting points – people like to hear that you are interested
  • 15. Execution – First approach
    • Introduce and connect people to each other
    • Feel free to make public testimonials or appraisal about people, companies or services
    • Tell your story only when people ask : “what about you? What are you doing ? How may I help you ? ”
    • Summarize what you agreed and further actions before leaving
    • Make notes after every introduction and follow up quickly
  • 16. Execution –Points to avoid
    • Interrupting people and not listening
    • Don’t let yourself drown or perturbed by the agitation around you - Look at people in the eyes !
      • Avoid closed questions !
    • Talking too much
    • Asking straight away for something
    • Being superficial
    • Don’t play any game – be yourself !
    • Concentrating on your own interest – people feel it !
      • No one likes a person with a "taker“ or “selfish” mentality. 
    • Avoid asking for Business cards before it is proposed – but be prepared to give yours
    • Apologizing exaggeratedly
  • 17. Follow-up
    • Follow through quickly and efficiently
    • Stick to your promises and to what you agreed
    • Save always contact details of people you connect with
      • Social Media, Outlook, Excel, CRM…
      • Recognize people’s expertise and tag it
    • Stay in touch
    • Always make sure your network knows of any recent successes
  • 18.
    • Thank you !!!
    • Zaki SELLAM