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Become an Epic Networker: 10 Commandments to Build your Professional Connections

David Pease, SPHR Executive Vice President – Chief Resource Officer

Androscoggin Bank


I. THOU SHALT KNOW THE 5 W’S OF NETWORKING. . .


The W’s of Networking – What? • Network [nétwerk] Noun & Verb. A group of people who exchange information, contacts and experience for professional or social purposes. (The Oxford Dictionary) • You need people in your life and they need you. Networking is building meaningful relationships before you need them. Networking is a strategic, ongoing lifelong effort. (David Pease)


The W’s of Networking – Why? • You network to meet people, find a new job, enhance your current role, expand your career, explore new career options, recruit employees, obtain referrals/sales or simply to broaden your horizons---it is important to focus on networking to identify contacts for future mutual benefit.

• Who learned about their current job through a contact? Who met their spouse or significant other through a friend or family members?


The W’s of Networking – Who? Business leaders

Just a click away…

new friends

colleagues at other offices

family old friends

Family friends

local colleagues former colleagues

virtual communities

old classmates School alumni


The W’s of Networking – Where? School Networks Professional Association Networks

Formal Networks Social Networks

Informal Networks Electronic Networks Business organizations

Entrepreneurial Networks

Community Organization Networks

Regional Networks

Industry Networks


The W’s of Networking – When?

Every day. Every where. With everyone… All the time.


II. THOU SHALT JUST DO IT. . .


“No one knows everyone, everyone knows someone. No one knows everything, everyone knows something, networks. all knowledge resides in humanity.” Lévy 1997


III. THOU SHALT CREATE A NETWORKING PLAN. . .


Planning A Networking Campaign 1. Define your objective. 2. Select the right technique. 3. Understand that “deal flow� or your number of prospects must be great to land one perfect business contract. 4. Identify your target(s). 5. Work out your positioning. This is a short statement of what you are about, what you can offer.

6. Create a written Network Plan!


IV. THOU SHALT BUILD NETWORKING PARTNERS . . .


Building Networking Partners • Talk to everyone you know about your goals. • • • • •

• • • •

Cultivate your relationships. Establish contacts before you need something. Clarify what network partners can and will do for you. Target specific contacts to build into network partners – Network coach, Image consultant, Marketing expert. Find those friendly network spiders - People who just seem to know everyone. Use the telephone. Use your online social network. Be visible at business and community events. Be active in professional organizations


V. THOU SHALT GROW AND INFUSE POSITIVE ENERGY INTO YOUR NETWORK. . .


Grow & Refresh Your Network • • • • • • • • • •

Go out of your way to be where people are. Set time aside each month to network. Set a goal for meeting new people Create contact database – personal details, not just exchanging business cards. Choose the right method for the right person. Warm up long-cold, older contacts. Continually re-evaluate your network? Adds? Delete? Send a birthday card or email. Congratulations to contacts receiving promotions or new jobs (scan journal/media announcements). Send a inspiring quote or great article to a key contact.


Don’t Have Time… Think Again! • We meet new people all the time, with no disruption to our schedules. Leverage these opportunities! • Not consistently widening our circles of acquaintances and contacts, may severely curtail our chances for advancement and success. • The average person knows about 250 people. And each of those people knows, in turn, another 250 people. • This means that for each new person you meet, you gain access to a potential pool of 62,500 people separated from you by just two degrees!


VI. THOU SHALT CREATE AN EFFECTIVE ELEVATOR SPEECH. . .


Elevator Speech • The elevator speech is a concise explanation of who you are and what you do in 30 seconds (time it take an elevator to travel from the top floor to the bottom floor of a high rise). • Introduce yourself in memorable fashion, emphasize the benefits you provide or the solutions you offer, showcase your uniqueness to set yourself apart from the competition and set the stage to build a new relationship. • Script it, rehearse it, perfect it. Positive 1st impression. • Leave them wanting more…asking you to elaborate. • Cover the 3 Ps – Passion, Previous experience, and Portable/transferable skills.


VII. THOU SHALT PERFECT FACE-TO-FACE NETWORKING. . .


Face to Face Networking • Name tag is worn on the right side to provide an easy sight-line to your name when shaking hands. • Practice effective handshake…two pumps and let go. Avoid giving a “bone crusher” or “limp fish”. • Communicating – importance of body language, voice and words. • Introduce yourself. Use GNAP and Elevator Speech. • When appropriate, exchange business cards. Customize. • Once contact is made, networking just begins. Follow up with those you met – sent a note - stay in touch, share info and offer help.

• Follow up is the #1 positive trait of most effective networkers!


VIII. THOU SHALT LEARN TO WORK A ROOM. . .


Working the Room • Let preparation and practice be your guide. Spend some time planning your conversation generators. – Ask about job, company, why here…be genuinely interested.

• Carry pen, business cards, name tag, breath mints. • Start with small talk. Find things in common. How can you help this person? How might they assist you? • Don't stay too long in one place. After five to eight minutes, excuse yourself, “It was nice meeting you ... “ • Be careful with eating and drinking (keep in left hand to always be ready to shake hands) • Networking is less about meeting new people than having them remember you after the fact.


IX. THOU SHALT CREATE A STRONG PERSONAL BRAND. . .


Making an Positive Impact • Ask a question at a conference. • Connect people together (Building others network!) • Have quality conversation with a few people at a networking event. Introduce yourself to a lot of people. • Wear a bright ties or colorful outfit. Wear a pin/button to generate questions/conversation. • Make people laugh. Make people smile. Be positive! • Be genuine, sincere and interested in everyone you meet! • Have an opinion on everything. (But keep an open mind.) • Take up an unusual hobby - but not too unusual. • Provide positive feedback /compliment others. • Establish a strong Professional Reputation – deliver on promises. Be someone people want to meet.


7 Ways to Sharpen Networking Skills 1. Action Plan. What do you want to accomplish? 2. Reciprocity. Mutual Benefit and Rewards. 3. Listen. People love to talk about themselves. A good listener learns and truly understands what motivates and inspires others. Asking great questions and showing genuine interest is memorable to the other person. 4. Approach Introverts. They have great talents and connections, don’t miss an opportunity to meet a quality person! 5. Be Nice. Authentic. Be Positive. Integrity is the glue to your reputation. 6. Invest Selflessly. One of the quickest ways to break down barriers and establish relationship is offer help to someone in need. 7. Guanxi. This is the Chinese word for network. Diversify your network! Do you have people in your network who are older and younger than you, of different races and ethnicities? This year expand your network to include new people and their communities. 8. Create an Online Presence.


Online Networking


X. THOU SHALT HAVE FUN NETWORKING. . .


Conclusion • Networking can be a fun and easy way to enrich your life, broaden your horizons, and enhance your career. • Crucial to your success is that you treat networking as an exchange of ideas and information and experience. You are not "sponging" off others for your own benefit. • Be generous in sharing your talents, experiences, and ideas, and always be respectful of those around you. • Mentoring and networking are not just occasional techniques to broaden your career. You need to integrate networking and mentoring into your daily life. • Good luck and have fun!


Final Thoughts

A small pebble can make a

BIG ripple.

Share your talents. Connect with others.


Questions? David Pease, SPHR Executive Vice President – Chief Resource Officer Androscoggin Bank 30 Lisbon Street ~ Lewiston, ME 04243 dpease@ androscogginbank.com 207-376-3506

Please feel free to request a connection with me on LinkedIn.com or Facebook.com. Follow me @MaineHR on Twitter.com.


Enhancing Online Presence Headline! (Most important section of profile – 120 words) Photo (Headshot) Summary (Think this is a Bio Overview. Brochure of You. Specialties (Key words for searches) Work experience & Education, Professional Groups Websites (company, personal, association). Establish a LinkedIn public profile Update your status weekly. Join LinkedIn Groups. Comment (Ask and answer discussion questions). Share articles. Create new group. • Expand your connections on a regular basis (searches) • Give & Seek Recommendations • Start a blog. Twitter. • • • • • • • • •

Epic Networking - 10 Commandments  

November Business Breakfast Series Presentation By David Pease