The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online

The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online

The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online

The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online


Online social networks such as LinkedIn, blogs, and Meetup have enjoyed phenomenal growth in the past year. They are among many new social software tools in an arsenal that also includes virtual communities, social network sites, and much more. The Virtual Handshake is the roadmap to a dynamic (and lucrative) online arena that is fast becoming the crucial relationship-building environment for serious professionals. Filled with clear, real-life examples, The Virtual Handshake shows readers how to:
- attract business in online networks
- meet more relevant senior people
- start and promote a blog
- analyze and value their social network
- use web conferencing and discussion forums to build awareness
- manage their contact databases
- ensure privacy and safety For professionals whose businesses rely on a constant flow of new opportunities and contacts, The Virtual Handshake is a practical and vital resource." "


Business is a social enterprise with
economic ends.—DANIEL P. burnham

How can you open doors and close deals online? More generally, how can you use “social software”—blogs and other tools for building your network online—to become dramatically more successful in business?

Most professionals meet new people and maintain relationships the same way they did 50 years ago—with phone calls, letters, and face-to-face meetings. However, today you can use social software to build and leverage a much larger and more effective network. Even if you do not use these technologies yourself, your competitors do—to gain an advantage over you or, at a minimum, to learn more about you. Whether you choose to participate or not, social software will impact you. Eighty-four percent of U.S. Internet users have used the Internet to contact or get information from an online group—more than have used the Internet to read news, search for health information, or to buy something.

We’ll discuss how to use the new tools that have emerged in the last few years: blogs (Web journals), social network sites, relationship capital management software, and biography analysis software. We’ll also discuss older tools, including contact management software, personal Web sites, e-mail lists, instant messaging, and Web conferencing. While you are probably familiar with some of this technology, most people are only using a small fraction of the power of these tools.

Our book is particularly relevant to people in roles that depend on relationships: professional investors seeking deals, CEOs seeking business partners, investment bankers seeking capital, salespeople seeking customers, and jobseekers searching for their dream job. We did not write this book for programmers. To master The Virtual Handshake, you only need to be sufficiently computer-literate to write e-mail and use the Web.

A few decades ago, when you joined a company you became a member of a network that could last for many years. Today, the average American has been employed at her job for only 4.0 years. You cannot rely on your employer’s network or your father’s network; you have to build your own flexible, lifetime network.

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