Find your balance between quality and quantity

March 31, 2006

In my book “Let’s Connect!” (www.letsconnect.be) I go deeper into the importance of quality and quantity of networking. Bottom line: quantity and quality are both important. So what should you do next? It’s a cliché, but my advice is:

Find your own balance between quality and quantity.

Also keep (most of) the business cards or electronic contact data of the people you meet. For me there are but a few exceptions to this rule. When people are rude, insincere or are just using me or other people, I’m not inclined to keep their data. I might, but only to remind myself never to do business with them or never to introduce or refer them to other people.

Networking success tip: never throw away a sincere person’s business card.

Remember that a person that is not “interesting” for you today might become very helpful towards your next goal. And besides, considering the small world principle, you never know who this person knows or how he could help somebody from your network.

Networking success tip: with modern technology it is rather easy to store all contact data. However keep the paper business cards as backup. And in case you have a rather visual memory, it also helps you to better remember the people you have met.

To your networking success !

Jan

PS: this is an excerpt from my networking book “Let’s Connect!” (www.letsconnect.be)


Networking is beneficial for every part of your life

March 24, 2006

My networking success tip for today: don’t only look for the people who can help you to reach your goals, but also with other things in your personal and professional life: who is the best plumber, who is the best travel agent, who is the best baker, who is the best information provider, who is the best insurance agent and even who is the best networker.

Have a great networking day !

Jan


Don’t limit yourself to your current network

March 17, 2006

In one of the exercises in my training courses we focus on “the people who are in the best position” to help you reach your goal. The most common “mistake” participants make is that they interpret this assignment as “the people who are in the best position AND ALREADY BELONG TO MY NETWORK”. So they already limit themselves to their own network of (on average) 250 people.

If you free yourself of this way of thinking and list the “best people”, then you already took a big step towards reaching your goal. The second step will then be to reach those best placed people via your network or your network’s network. If the “best people” are still “a bridge too far”, then you can “downgrade” to “second best”. The most important thing of this exercise is that you begin from the best possible situation. And this is something only a few of us do. Why? Because we never learned it.

My networking success tip for today is: make a list of the people that are best placed to help you reach your goal, even if they don’t belong to your network (yet).

To your networking success !

Jan


Reach your goals by sharing them with your network

March 10, 2006

By sharing your goals, you will receive help from others to reach them. If people feel that you want to reach your goals and do the things you do with passion and live by your values, they will be very likely to help.

Remember the last time your little nephew told you about his favourite sport (let’s say tennis), with little sparks of energy in his eyes? He told you vividly about how he saw himself in fifteen years, as the new world number one, the new Pete Sampras, John McEnroe or Roger Federer? As a great champion at Wimbledon with people screaming his name and applauding him? And then he told you that in order to raise some more money to buy the necessary gear he was washing cars. So he could take his first step to his personal success. Did you ever consider for a second telling him that you just went to the car wash three days ago? If you’re like 98% of the human population on this earth you’ve already opened your purse and you’re happy to contribute to fulfilling his dream.

When I had set the goal of writing “Let’s Connect!” and told my network about it, they came up with suggestions for the content. They also offered to bring me in contact with publishers and to proofread the book. It felt great to have this support. The people from your network can do similar things for you. Just share your goals with them!

Have a great networking day !

Jan


Networking on an event: your nametag

March 4, 2006

One of your networking tools on events is your nametag.

Here are some tips to make a better use of it:

  • Wear it on your right side. At most of the events I visit people wear the name tag on the left side. When shaking hands both people have to reach out to read the name of the other person, because their bodies are turned away from each other. When the name tag is on the right side, this is no problem.
  • It is OK to read the names of other people. But having a sneak peek doesn’t give a good impression. It’s not the reading of the name that causes an occasional negative reaction, it is the sneakiness. Personally I need to read the name to be able to remember it better. So I definitely and obviously look at the name tag while saying “Excuse me, I like to read your name tag so I can remember your name”. Notice my intention. I clearly say I want to remember them (and I really mean it!) Nobody ever gave me a strange look for doing this, because they felt it was my genuine intention. I suggest you follow my example, in deed and in intention!
  • Bring your own name tag. Though this is a tricky one. It has advantages and disadvantages. It is something that can help you when the organisation didn’t provide name tags. Because many people need name tags to remember names, you can help them to remember you by wearing your own name tag. But some people will perceive you as arrogant and a show-off when you are the only one wearing a name tag. So apply this tip wisely.

To your networking success !

Jan


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