Thursday 11 February 2010

Effective networking - Keeping records

In networking, you are engaging in a business activity and you must do it as professionally as you do your work. This means keeping detailed records of all the contacts you have made and referrals. Every referral must be followed up soon after it has been given to you. It is not going to help if someone goes to the trouble of giving you a contact and when they next meet them and raise the subject of you, they are faced with a blank look and the question "Who?"

Guidelines about networking

• Make sure you ask for advice, not a job. Tell your contacts about your plans and ask for their views. It may lead to a job at a later date.

• Be open about your current situation. Tell your contacts the truth, i.e. that your job has been made redundant.

• Do not approach too many contacts at once. Your aim is to seek 1 -2 referrals from each person. These will need to be followed up quickly, within a week.

• Keep control. Try and suggest that your contacts tell their lead that you will be phoning or writing and then make sure you do this.

• Treat every networking opportunity seriously. Be prepared before making a phone call, writing a letter or meeting someone.

• Treat your contacts' time as precious. Make sure you recognise they have busy schedules, be sensitive to how to contact them [i.e. write or phone].

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