Networking Crash Course 301: Go from Coy to Seriously Connected in No Time!

5_15_09networking-crash-courseNETWORKING 301:

Contact Management
Once you start meeting a lot of great people, you’re going to need to keep track of them.  Get in the habit of collecting business cards and passing out some of your own.   Make notes on the back so when you get to your computer you can send new contacts a personal email about what you spoke about.  Store the cards in a box or binder, or better yet, scan them into a contact manager or online address book with notes to help you remember the person or conversation details.  Consider getting a cell phone that enables you to email your contacts and you’ll have all the tools you need to network like a pro.

Hosting Events
If you’re a student or still actively involved with your campus, invite the biggest people you want to meet to come speak.  If you’re involved in a professional or community organization you can use that platform the same way.  Invite influential people to visit and participate in worthwhile events. You can always host your own event independently too.  The more creative the hook the better.

Meeting Powerful People
When you start to become a power networker and meet some of the bigger people in business, make sure to adjust your paradigm accordingly.  They are people just like you, however, they command a different level of reverence based upon their experience.  Always be sensitive to their time and any other immediate demands on them, like speaking, appointments or a tight schedule.  Also recognize that their attention spans are going to be a lot tighter, so your conversation hook has to be strong and memorable. You’ve got to dazzle them with your confidence and poise.  Get your personal elevator pitch down tight for these too!  And don’t forget to always show respect to the gatekeepers – their assistants, staff, husbands/wives, or anyone else guarding their time and schedule.

Brand Yourself
When it comes to networking, whether you’re getting your feet wet or getting your groove on, never forget that you’re a brand too. Build it carefully and maintain it with the respect it deserves.  Go to today to build your PROJO – “your professional mojo”, an online professional profile that you can be proud to share or have found by anyone of these great people you’re meeting. Take the YSN Assessment if you want to really pack a punch with any introduction or want to know how to position yourself in the most compelling way.

Written by, Jennifer Kushell

YSN – Expert Advice on Career Advancement and Tools for Professional Development