Networking With A Buzz.
So, I’m listening to our sales guy discussing his network and patting himself on the back with comments like “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” Balderdash!
I reminded him that “it is not what you know, or who you know, but who knows you. If a company needs to talk to an outplacement firm, they call the one they know, not the one that knows them.”
Well I tired of toying with the kitty and yarn and decided to be productive, rather than a jerk. The comment above applies to job search and career management. You’ve got to stay in front of your contacts or they don’t know you. Jobs are filled before they’re posted internally, and certainly before they’re posted externally. They’re even filled before the can in the seat has been canned. What to do?
Once a connection is made follow up immediately by:
- Sending a brief email acknowledging the connection and mention the circumstance of the meeting, or how the introduction occurred.
- Find and follow this person on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook using these tips…Link.
Manage your contacts by:
- By utilizing the installed, and perhaps underutilized programs on your laptop or PC.
- Utilize a free customer management program like Highrise that allows you to mange up to 250 contacts with “reminders” and other free tools.
- Utilize another free service called FollowUpThen which is a useful email reminder tool.
Let your contacts know you’re real by:
- Emailing, tweeting, and posting relevant industry or professional information.
- Asking them to meet you for a cup of coffee, offering to help on a project in the community that they may be a part of, or inviting them to attend an industry association meeting with you.
- Ask about their workplace culture, the projects they’re involved with, and send them information on “best practices.”
Now build upon the foundation of sincerity and competence by repeating the above and you’ll find that your name will be coming up when opportunities arise. Don’t be “that guy.” You know, the guy who only calls when a favor is needed. Make the relationship last well past your first day on the new job because in all likelihood, you’ll be looking again.
Charles “Buzz” Smith, SR Curmudgeon & VP of Consulting Services. OPI Outplacement. National provider of outplacement and career transition based in Knoxville, Tennessee