Sunday, January 20, 2013

Networking 102

This is not the first time I have used material from Ramit Sethi’s blog. As I have said before, he is young, edgy, and urban. Some of my more gentle readers might be offended by his use of profanity, but his advice to the job seeker and budding entrepreneur is first rate. Here is his Closing the Loop Technique for cementing a chance business or even a casual social encounter into the beginning of a network relationship.

Begin by asking people about themselves and what they are doing. Most people love an opportunity to talk about themselves. Me is my favorite subject. By the way, this works quite well for the college student. Learn about what your professors are doing in the way of research. If you ask informed questions about their interests it will establish that you are a person of value. Be natural. Don’t force it.

If you have a conversation with an important person, say an interview with a prospective employer, immediately follow up that meeting with a thank you note. It doesn’t have to be long. The primary purposes of this note are to thank him for his time and to establish that you have listened to what he said and that you intend to act upon his advice or suggestions. It could be the beginning of a mentor relationship. People enjoy having “disciples” who consider their words more precious than gold.

In a couple of weeks send a second note or email. The purpose of this communication is to let your new contact know that you are in fact exploring his suggestions. If he suggested Company XYZ might be a good fit for your talents, tell him you have researched the company reports and made a few preliminary contacts with people who work for this company. Maybe he gave you that contact information in your interview. This is important! Let him know that note is just for his information. There is no need for a reply. Again be natural. Don’t force it.

Finally, close the loop. If his suggestion pans out, thank him. If you found a job at XYZ, let him know. If you didn’t get a job, thank him anyway. Let him know how much you appreciate his advice. If you haven’t completely given up but plan to try again in six months, let him know. Ask him to keep you in mind if he happens to hear anything promising.

Watch this video. It is powerful.

How to Turn any Meeting into a Lasting Relationship

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