When should you network?

sales-networkingDue to the rather weak economy, many of my contacts are in-between jobs, or at least nervous enough to be looking into other career possibilities – some as sales engineers, others in hard-core engineering or business management.

I’ve treated three people to lunch in the past month that are on the hunt for a new position. While I’m happy to do this and to help them out, the only time I hear from them is when they need help of some sort.

As I listened to what the perfect job for them would be, I proceeded to ask what they were doing to find it – all three said ‘networking’. While that’s great, if you only network when you need it, you’re doing yourself and your contacts a great disservice.

Listen, I’m an engineer as backward and uncomfortable as anyone meeting and greeting new people, but I do a little bit each week so that I’m never in a jam when I need it.  95% of my networking is unselfishly helping others – that is the secret of networking, there you have it.

So when I DO need something, I have no problem asking for help.  I don’t mean to imply that I keep score and know who ‘owes me’, that couldn’t be further from the truth – I simply give unselfishly and get that back in return.

So get out there and reconnect with old friends and meet new acquaintances and start your networking with trying to figure out how you can help them – this is the best way to keep you sales funnel overflowing.

If you want to do something today, cruise over to LinkedIn and invite me to your network and I’d be happy to hook you up with anyone I can.

If you’re curious about my three lunch dates, I hooked one up as a managment consultant and the other two are still on the prowl.  Maybe I should start a small job board on here?!

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1 comment so far ↓

#1 MTD Sales Blog on 03.04.09 at 7:14 am

Wise words although too many of the people that I come across go to “get” rather than to “give” at networking events be it online or offline.

So the lesson is clear, go to give and it will come back – the universe has a weird and wonderful way!

Sean McPheat

MTD Sales Blog’s last blog post..Microsoft Office Labs Vision For 2019

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