Evaluate your memberships

July 28, 2007

Of how many organisations are you member?

And how often do you attend one of the events of these organisations?

Many people have memberships cards or pay their membership fees, but are not really a member.
It is good to re-evaluate your memberships from time to time.

These are some questions you can ask yourself:
– Why am I member?
– What is my goal?
– Who do I like to meet?
– What do I want to learn?
– What have I done so far to contribute to this organisation? If nothing, what holds me back?
– What have I done to build relationships with the other members of this organisation at the events and outside the events?
– If I have to compare membership of organisation A to membership of organisation B, which one do I prefer and why?
– Are there other organisations which can bring me the same value or through which I can reach my goals as well (or better)?

Ask yourself these questions and you will be in a better position to:
– choose which memberships to keep and which to end
– attend the events you do go to with an increased awareness which will lead to better results

To your success !

Jan

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Websites back online

July 27, 2007

I’m happy to anounce that the websites are back online !

Visit the websites full of free networking resources:

www.networking-coach.com: free networking e-course, free monthly networking e-zine and free light version of the CD Let’s Connect at an event

www.letsconnect.be: free light version of the book Let’s Connect

Have a great networking day !

Jan


Difference between quality and quantity: the importance of quantity

July 21, 2007

There are 4 major reasons why quantity is also important, next to quality (see post of last week).

1) More opportunities

A higher quantity of contacts gives you more opportunities to find the “high quality” people. But again, this means that you have to know your goals.

Having more opportunities also means that you have to rely less on luck or coincidence for things to happen in your life. Lots of contacts combined with knowing your goals will have you experience more synchronicity in your life too!
 
2) Your goals change over time

As your goals change over time, the “quality” of people changes too. Somebody who was of “low quality” a year ago could be number one today. Also the opposite is true. So this is another reason why everybody is important.

For example: a former product manager of a large telecom company told me that he was never interested in meeting accountants and lawyers at events of the Chamber of Commerce. Moreover, he ran away from them. But at the moment he started his own company, he regretted the fact that he didn’t have any connections in those two fields.

3) Value for your network

Somebody might be of “low quality” for you, but of “high quality” for someone from your network. A good networking action is connecting people. By connecting them, you strengthen your relationship with both of them. This creates goodwill. They will both be more motivated to help you to find the “high quality” people you are looking for.

In fact connecting people is one of the best networking actions you can do. It is free and you help two people at once. You will be remembered as a great help and as a consequence the chances increase that they will remember you when there is an opportunity in your field.

4) Diversity creates a larger safety net when circumstances change

We all have the tendency to stick around people who have the same interests, the same background, the same education and other similar things. Wayne Baker calls this the “similarity principle”. In his book “Networking Smart” you find many examples of this principle. Sometimes this tendency to stick around with the same people is good, sometimes it is a disadvantage. For example, when you are looking for a new job, it is better to have a large and diversified network. Your small core group will limit you to the same sources of information or job opportunities.
Conclusion: both quality and quantity are important. Find your own balance between them !
Have a great networking day !

Jan


Difference between quality and quantity: the importance of quality

July 14, 2007

What is better in networking: quality or quantity? 

Most people respond: quality !

Let me ask you a question: what is quality? How do you define it?

Many people perceive people with a high position in a large and well known company as “high quality”. Let’s call such a person Ms. Big Shot. And they do everything they can to come into contact with her when they see her at an event. But when they get a few minutes of this person’s attention they don’t know what to say and focus on exchanging business cards. Afterwards they send e-mails and start calling Ms. Big Shot, only to be blocked by her secretary. And then they are disappointed in Ms. Big Shot, the event where they attended and in networking in general.

Do you recognise this situation? From your own experience or from someone you know? Then it might be a good idea to look differently at “quality”.

For me “quality” can only be measured when compared to your goals. A person is of “high quality” if she (or her network) can help you to reach your goals better and faster. Ms. Big Shot could be high quality, but she is also very busy. So it might be a good idea to look for other people of equal quality that are easier to approach and who have more time for you. 

So quality is definitely important in networking. But so is quantity. Why? Read it in the blog of next week !

Have a great networking day !

Jan


Difference between an introduction and a referral

July 7, 2007

Many people don’t know the difference between an introduction and a recommendation.

This is the reason that so many useful connections are not made !

When someone is looking for help in any way, we tend to only connect them with people we know very well. People who have a personal experience with and who we can recommend. In practice this means that we only do this for a few people. We meet a lot of people during our life, but only with a few of them we have a personal experience.

The reason that we only think of the people we can recommend out of our personal experience is that we don’t want “a connection to blow up in our face”. If the person we introduced, did a bad job, we feel that we are personally responsible and we don’t want to take that risk.

You don’t have to take any risk if you communicate it in the right way !

Instead of recommending someone, you could tell: “I met Simon a week ago and talked 5 minutes with him. He might have a solution for your problem.” By communicating that you only met briefly the other person knows you don’t have a personal experience and that you can’t recommend Simon to him. You haven’t had the time to do a “quality control”. But what you DID do, is showing that you want to help him out by offering him a potential solution. He will remember that and chances are high that he will also try to help you out the moment you need help.
Have a great networking day !

Jan


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