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10 tips to improve the quality of your networking

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10 tips to improve the quality of your networking

  1. 1. 10 Tips toImprove the Quality of Your Networking
  2. 2. 1. Quantity Is a Turnoff!   If you hand out business cards like you’re dealing poker, most folks will fold.!   Remember, speed networking probably does not yield the best return on your investment of time. “Quantity networkers are forgettable individuals. If a guy is just looking for his next consulting contract, I don’t want to know him.” - Benjamin Akande, Dean, Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology 2
  3. 3. 2. Don’t Work the Room!   Don’t kid yourself: If you’re always on the lookout for the next professional hookup, people will take offense. “When people spend 50 percent of the time looking over my shoulder, I don’t feel warm and fuzzy,” - Sally Haver, Senior Vice President, The Ayers Group, New York City 3
  4. 4. 3. Respond to Others’ Challenges!   There’sno better way to establish a business networking relationship than to contribute to the solution of your new contact’s pressing problem. “If someone states a challenge that they’re facing, respond -- no later than the next morning -- with something of value that addresses their issue.” - John Felkins, President, Accelerant Consulting Group, Bartlett, Tennessee. 4
  5. 5. 4. Take Time to Make a Real Connection!   Whenyou and a new acquaintance seem attuned, take time to explore how you might help each other out. “A lot of people figure that coming back from a networking opportunity with just one contact makes it a failure, but my hour with one good contact makes it a success.” - Sally Haver, Senior Vice President, The Ayers Group, New York City 5
  6. 6. 5. Make Yourself Useful, Again and Again “If you consistently position yourself as a resource to others -- fellow college alums, former colleagues -- it will make you more valuable to your contacts, and, in turn, their contacts, as time goes by,” - Amanda Guisbond, Account Executive, Shift Communications, Boston, MA 6
  7. 7. 6. Exchange Stories!   Don’t forget that you are more than a professional objective at the top of your resume. “Networking is about telling your story, describing your human competitive advantage -- what you do that nobody else can do.” - Benjamin Akande, Dean, Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology 7
  8. 8. 7. Don’t Forget Social Media!   Social media are powerful tools for professional networking when used judiciously. But spam is distasteful no matter what the social medium du jour. So be selective, and use virtual contacts to supplement, not supplant, face-to-face meetings. “Social networking is deeply reinforced by an in-person connection.” - Shel Horowitz, Marketing Consultant, Hadley, Massachusetts 8
  9. 9. 8. Make Your Case for Building aRelationship!   Recognize that if you’re between jobs, you probably have more discretionary time than most of your valuable networking contacts do. Work hard to make yourself useful. “People are overrun with requests. Unless there’s a compelling reason for someone to meet with you, they won’t make the time.” - Sally Haver, Senior Vice President, The Ayers Group, New York City 9
  10. 10. 9. Set Yourself Up for the Next Contact  If you intuit that a new contact will have lasting value, start building a bridge to your next exchange before you say your first good-bye. “I ask people what they’re working on right now, which gives me a segue to another contact, I make notes so that the next time I can say, ‘You mentioned in our last conversation…’” - Benjamin Akande, Dean, Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology 10
  11. 11. 10. Mind These Three Watchwords forQuality!   When in doubt, remember this slogan for quality networking: Selectivity Discretion Mindfulness 11

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