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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Some simple (and effective) networking ideas

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Liz O'Rourke Kupcha
, marketing director for Cameron Engineering in Woodbury, NJ, has contributed an enlightening article in The SMPS Marketer, describing Networking's "Dirty Dozen" mistakes. These include:
  1. Staying with the people you arrived with or already know;
  2. Immediately judging a person;
  3. Monopolizing the time of one particular attendee;
  4. Questioning the intentions of another attendee;
  5. Being dismissive of an attendee;
  6. Dropping names;
  7. Passing out business cards like candy;
  8. Refusing to offer a card;
  9. Being unaware of one's ideal client/target audience;
  10. Adapting your level of enthusiasm to the person;
  11. Being long-winded/going off on tangents;
  12. Being preoccupied with offering a pitch for a service or adding a particular person to your network.
She adds a 13th item, Baker's Dozen: Online Networking
A considerable number of our industry peers can be found on social networking sites such as Plaxo Pulse, LinkedIn, and FaceBook. On the one hand, online networking provides an avenue to reconnect with former coworkers and classmates as well as a means of connecting to someone perhaps you've had a tough time initiating contact with. On the other hand, a pet peeve of one social networker is seeing connection requests from individuals that seem to 'raid her contact list.' It is helpful to personalize an invitation to connect by reminding the individual where you met or indicating how you are connected. When you receive an invitation to connect, it's easy to click 'yes' or 'no' but take a few seconds to visit that person's profile to check out mutual connections. (Facebook has a feature that shows the number of friends you have in common: LinkedIn displays similar information.) It might be disconcerting for someone who sent you an invitation to receive your "I don't know you" rejection of the connection when that person in fact can outline a connection history to you."
Good points, indeed.

I am frankly less than comfortable at conventional networking events, but appreciate one approach that makes them endurable -- and useful. I simply put myself aside and think totally about the interests of the other people in the room. This of course, creates the healthy start of relationships and communication.

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