The Importance of Networking

Over the years as a business life coach in Boca Raton, many of my clients talk about making changes in their careers, or about making decisions as to what the next step should be.

I always advise my clients to have a plan of action with a time frame attached to that plan. I ask them to make a list of their contacts and label them with key words so that over the years they do not forget the connection. As a business coach, I tell them to keep a network list active. What do I mean by active? I want my clients to make contact with their networking list at least once every 3 months. Just checking in to say hello and see how you are is a perfect way to stay in touch. talk about a new skill or development that may have occurred. Talk about something in their life to keep the connection going. Plan a lunch or dinner if you are in the same town, and of course when traveling to a city where a networking client lives is always a great time to say, I’ll be in town in two weeks, can we meet for a coffee?”

As a business coach, I remind my clients to carry their business cards with them at all times. Make sure to give it to someone at every possible occasion letting that person know what you do and how it could be of value to the person receiving the card. On the back of the card, I always advise that the client should write the date they met the person and a little something about it, so that the person is impressed by your memory years later when you happen to need that person.

Networking is key to moving forward. Someone always knows someone who can help you out. You have to ask. You have to follow up on a quick meet and greet with an e mail saying how nice it was to meet the contact and even request a meeting. Recently one of my clients was at a party and was introduced to a woman and by the end of the evening had realized that this woman was the head of a company that the client had his eye on. They had talked about many topics and at the end of the evening, they had both exchanged cards.

The next day, my client was very excited and called me to say that he had unexpectedly met the CEO of the company he had been hoping to work for. The next morning, my client e mailed the CEO and asked if they could meet in order to continue their conversation sometime. Everything was perfect except that the client left the timing as a vague future date.

Advice from Harriet Rosenberg, business life coach? Always be specific when you want to get together with someone. Saying let’s have lunch sometime is just a nice way of ending a conversation. But pinpointing a specific day and time requires a response and hopefully a “closing” of the desired request.

Networking is an ongoing necessary skill to perfect. To make it really work, stay in touch with your contacts and keep building the file!

Harriet Rosenberg is a personal and business life coach in Boca Raton. She can be reached at risomer@hotmail.com or visit her website at www.harrietrosenberg@hotmail.com

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