Make Your Contacts Count: Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success

By DeCarlo, Laura A. | Career Planning and Adult Development Journal, Spring 2008 | Go to article overview

Make Your Contacts Count: Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success


DeCarlo, Laura A., Career Planning and Adult Development Journal


Make Your Contacts Count: Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success, by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon 2007. New York, NY: AMACOM 255 pages, $14.95, Softcover

Intended Audience(s): A, B, C, D

Major Headings from the Table of Contents:

Get Ready for State-of-the-Art Networking; Survey Your Skills and Mindset: Assess Your Skills; Change Your Mindset; Set Your Strategy: Teach Trust; Develop Your Relationships; Go with Your Goals; Sharpen Your Skills: Know the Netiquette; Avoid the Top Twenty Turn-Offs; Who Are You?; What Do You Do?; What Are We Going to Talk About?; Make Conversation Flow; End with the Future in Mind; Follow Through; Select Your Settings: Network at Work; Make It Rain Clients; (Net)Work from Home; Make the Most of Your Memberships; Rev Up Referral Groups; Connect at Conventions; Jump-Start Your Job Hunt

How Is the Book Most Useful for Its Intended Audience?

It helps anyone and everyone understand that networking is not a onetime pursuit when starting a business or changing a job. It is instead a lifelong strategy for creating a network that can help you be successful. Further, the book presents clear strategy on how to identify, develop, cultivate, and maintain a network even when dealing with the painful roadblocks of being shy or not knowing how to keep the conversation flowing.

The Top Five Things You Learned from Reading this Book

Have an agenda for networking-what you have to give and what you want to get out of it.

Make the most of millionaire moments with questions that make conversations flow for: Who are you? What do you know? What are we going to talk about? Avoid the rituals that fog the listener and don't promote communication.

Learn someone else's name through repetition of their name; teach your own by repeating your first name twice, pausing, saying your last name, and spelling it.

Listen generously (about 50 per cent of the time) and follow up by telling good stories that spell success: strategic, unique, clear, concrete, exciting, short and succinct, service-oriented.

Have a ritual for leave-taking, when networking with a person, based on Leave Now... Let go of your conversation partner after five minutes. Explain what you must do. Act on your agenda. Volunteer a referral. Exit easily to another conversation by taking your conversation partner with you. Note what has gone on between you; sum up the conversation and appreciate what your partner has said. Outline the next step for your contact. Walk. Shake hands and leave, purposefully.

This extraordinary book is a definitive tool for everyone in business today, regardless of their level, experience, or understanding of networking. From breaking barriers to understanding the place and benefits of networking to providing the step-by-step tools of the groundbreaking contacts count networking system, the authors present four key strategies for helping to take your network from scattershot to strategic which include how to: (1) Survey your skills and mindset; (2) Set your strategy; (3) Sharpen your skills; and (4) Select your settings.

Surveying your skills and mindset begins with a 50-question assessment encompassing netiquette, comfort level, strategic approach, meeting people, using networking organizations, making the most of networking events, achieving bottom-line results, and following through. From this starting point, you can benchmark strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for better understanding his/her network position and engaging with the rest of the book. Critical to this chapter is advice on changing your mindset regarding the integration of networking, not just for spot opportunities, but throughout your life. Further, there is a powerful piece on how to convert your inner critic regarding interview to an inner coach who will motivate and inspire toward success.

Setting your strategy takes up where surveying ended by helping you to understand and apply the critical strategies of:

* Teaching trust in networking (people do business with those they trust). …

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