It doesn't matter if you are trying to recruit a top candidate, find a job, get a signed fee agreement back from a new client or just gathering info about a fun hobby, the truth is that networking can be key component in your ability to get what you desire.
The world is filled with deal-makers and deal-breakers, the first thing you have to figure out is which you want to be. In business we all try so hard to develop new relationships by going to events, asking for business cards, sending out social networking invitations, etc... In today's market it make great sense to be connected and yet many of us fall short of reaching our full networking potential. If you knew that one of your friends had a good friend who could help you in a time of need would you hesitate to ask for help? The truth is that many of our relationships are not quite as strong as we think they are. One of the best things you can do is to be a giver and not ask for anything in return, then over time you will see that "what goes around, comes around."
One of the things that I always find to be crazy is not following up on the commitments that are made. For example you go to an event, you get there early and tell your new contacts that you will send them some information and then not send it. To me you are burning a bridge every time that happens and in a way tarnishing your network reputation. Follow-up takes some time and effort.
A strong network can help you to accomplish many of your goals. Your contacts may be the source of your next job or an introduction to that next big account. Make sure you organize your network. Tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Outlook can help you or even just a basic spreadsheet, just make sure you can find the names you need and thier contact information.
Remember that networking will help you to learn and from knowledge you gain power. Networking will expand the number of people you are able to help and thus put you into contact with people who can help you. Have fun while you network, it can be like playing a game so enjoy it. Make networking part of what you do every day and I'm certain it will pay off for you.
About Craig Silverman:
Craig recently joined Albin Engineering (www.aesi.com
), an innovative technology services and staffing solutions provider, in Santa Clara, CA as Partner and Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Prior to joining Albin Engineering, Craig was the EVP, Sales & Marketing for HireAbility.com from 2004 - 2008 where he built a new model for the recruiting industry and remains a member of their Board of Directors. From 2002-2004, he was the Senior Vice President for TMP/Hudson Global Resources (HHGP) where he was responsible for their $90M U.S. IT Services business. From 1996–2001, Craig was with Hall Kinion as Executive Vice President or Recruiting Services and CMO. He was successful in growing the Hall Kinion recruiting business from annual revenues of $30M to $296M while opening 40 new sales offices, and hiring 400 recruiters.
Craig's professional sales and sales management career spans 19 years. During this time he has amassed substantial experience in building sales teams, marketing, mergers & acquisitions, venture capital, public relations, recruiting, hiring, training, and motivating. Craig is considered to be an expert on the job market, staffing industry & recruiting trends, leadership, and sales management. He is frequent keynote speaker and has been often quoted by the press in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, and Staffing Industry Report.