One of the more common questions my clients ask me these days is, “How can I become a more effective networker?”
Often, people go to networking meeting and functions, pass out and collect dozens of business cards, and then aren’t sure where to go from there. Some of the issues I’ve heard are:
If you’re feeling stuck around how to handle your networking contacts, I invite you to try the sorting process I use. You can modify this system to make it work for you and your business or job search. The first thing you’ll need to do is to develop a sorting system. If your office drawer is full of business cards you have no idea how you came by, sorting will be very important to you. Sorting also allows you to hone in on the contacts that will benefit you the most, while weeding out those that you have less interest in pursuing.
When I go to a networking event and someone hands me a business card, I immediately hand-write on the back of the card the date I met this person, the function we met at, and something about the person that struck me. That way, whenever I look at the card I have a clear recollection of receiving it. When I get back to my desk, I sort the cards and contact information into several categories.
When you get back from a networking meeting, take the time to sort the cards you’ve acquired into these four categories (or the categories you’ve developed to suit your targets). You might create a separate binder or file for each list, or make a spreadsheet. Then, decide which contacts to prioritize, and which you’re less interested in cultivating or adding to your database. (I learned this the hard way and just put everyone in my database, years later I am still cleaning it up.) Then, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step, following up—which we’ll explore next week. Stay tuned.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG OR WEBSITE? Please do, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC, known as Coach DQ, is a professional coach, speaker and workshop leader. Through the use of her B.R.I.D.G.E. programs she helps marketing, advertising, and creative entrepreneurs navigate career or business transition while maintaining a healthy career-life balance. Her core belief that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, consistently leads clients to uncover hidden resources and strengths. B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap and accelerate your career so you can love your life now! Visit http://www.coachdq.com today or for more information email me.