Posts tagged #Networking Skills

Keeping Your Eye On The Prize: How To Network Your Way To A Better Job

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.
Steve Jobs

Ask ten people how they got the job they have and I bet they will tell you it was through someone they know! Networking is by far one of the best ways to further your career and get a better job. It reveals more opportunities and more possibilities, and in some cases, allows you to invent your own perfect position description.
 
By using networking as a tool to secure a new position, you’ve got a much better chance of getting what you want. This is because:
 

  • Most jobs come from the hidden job market – up to 80% actually!
  • Employers like to hire someone they already know and trust, or who has been recommended by another person they trust.
  • Employers prefer to avoid having to advertise. This takes time and resources, and they end up with a pile of applicants they have to sift through. If they can hire via networking it saves them a great deal of time, money and effort.
  • Without a formal advertising process, you’ll be up against significantly less competition for the position.

So, what are the best ways to approach networking when your goal is a better job? 

1. Make networking a habit – Keep up your conversations and connections as you need to have strong relationships before seeking anything.

2. Assess your current network. You’ll be amazed at how many people you already know in your network. Reach out to them and explain exactly what you’re looking for. Ask them if they have any information about upcoming opportunities or if they know of someone else you can contact. You never know where this simple act may lead. 

3. Ask for help, not a job. When you ask someone straight up for a job it can be confronting and can make them feel like they’re being ambushed. Instead, ask for some advice. Ask them for a good starting place, or how you can get a foot in the door somewhere. With a gentle approach they will be more forthcoming with help. 

4. Be specific. Know exactly what you’re looking for. When you ask specific questions, you’ll find specific answers, in the same way that vague questions will result in a vague answer. Do you want a referral? To be introduced to someone? Some work experience? A friendly chat with an insider? Know what you want and ask for it. 

5. Follow up. This links to step 1, so be sure to maintain contact with your connections and follow up. If nothing eventuates from your efforts this time, try again in 3 months time when circumstances might have changed. 

Networking and building relationships is the fastest and easiest way to further your career and reach your goals. Learn this and other networking skills from an industry expert and enroll in our Business Networking Workshop today.
 
Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au
 

The Importance Of Staying Top Of Mind To Your Contacts (And How To Do It)

This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.
Alice Waters

When you’ve put in the hard work to meet and gain new contacts through your networking, it can be easy to get complacent and think your work is done. You have their contact details and they have yours, and they’ve expressed some interest in your skills.

They’ll call you if they want you, right?

Wrong. It can be very easy for people to forget about you. You need to stay relevant to your connections so you’re the first name they think of when they need to hire or make a recommendation. A follow up email after meeting them just won’t cut it.

Here are some ways you can stay top of mind to your contacts.

1)    Keep track of your contacts and engage with them. This means actually doing something with that spreadsheet of names and numbers you have! There are many apps available (such as Contactually and Hubspot) that help you organise your contacts, deliver relevant content to them and remind you to be more active with certain people.

2)    Remind people that you exist. A great way to do this is to regularly (not just once or twice a year) publish relevant and valuable content on LinkedIn. When you do this, everyone you’re connected with receives a notification that you’ve published something. They see your name and are reminded that you’re out there.

3)    Mix it up. A regular blog once a month is great, but it can become stale and repetitive. Try mixing up the formats and the frequencies you use to stay in touch with people. You’ll capture a wider audience and cater to the different preferences of your contacts. Some love to read, so a newsletter is great. Others prefer to watch or listen, so a video or podcast would be a winner here.

4)    Keep it personal. If you know your contacts birthday, send them a card to wish them a happy birthday. If they’ve just had a baby, congratulate them. Remembering details outside of business keeps the relationship genuine.

When you have the right tools to stay organised and the right processes in place, it can be easy to stay top of mind. That way, when the time comes and they need someone just like you, you’re the one they actually contact. 

For more insider tips on how to improve your networking skills, enrol in one of our Business Networking Skills workshops today.

Happy Netships!
Julia

Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au

How to be more visible in your network

 

BUZZ QUOTE ~ "Always Remember the future comes one day at a time". Dean Acheson

 

Thanks for the great feedback from the last article - this one is a follow on for you:)
+ We now have links to the recent articles I have tweeted in case you missed them - see below.
 

Our calendar is booked with presenting and training over the next few months to those that want to arm themselves with the skills necessary to effectively attract, leverage and retain business relationships. Like many of my clients, you may be going through major internal changes. Some are facing mergers/ takeovers and others are part of cost minimisation and repositioning efforts. Sound familiar?   

If this is you or someone you know, then the following observations will be meaningful and timely.   Whilst so much happens around you, know that there is much you can personally influence. Now more than ever, its time to execute that influence and remain highly visible within your immediate and wider networks.  So many people I train admit that they shy away from company social gatherings, and if they do attend they stick to people in their immediate team (who they see all day long and have strong relationships with). Then throughout our training workshops they change their perspective and question why they haven’t taken a personal interest in marketing themselves, both internally and externally.In his book ‘The importance of Managing Visibility’, George Dudley maintains that managers who make themselves visible get higher raises and more promotions. And in today’s volatile economic climate, employees need to create a safety net by identifying other jobs within their organisations that they could move to, and by connecting with colleagues who could refer them and employers who could hire them through professional associations.

What if you knew how to raise your visibility and showcase your talents and interests so your organisation could get maximum benefit from you?    

Keep networking, wherever you are in the globe and here a six ways that you can raise your visibility today;

  1. Ask someone outside of your immediate team to grab a tea/ coffee with you and take the opportunity to share what your teams are working on
  2. Instead of having lunch at your desk, take your lunch to a common area and see who you meet
  3. Instead of replying to an internal person by email, go and see them at their desk to discuss the matter
  4. Buy a bag of lollies (or dried fruit, but lollies work best:) and offer it to your colleagues. If you want you can have a jar permanently on your desk so people can pop by and say hi.
  5. Volunteer for a committee of your choice e.g. social, book club, or project based.
  6. Accept an invite to a social event; its not about the drink, its about the people, so stretch yourself and go up to a senior manager and say hello.

Remember, visibility is the key - stay top of mind with your network.  

Now it's time to educate your networks about how fabulous you are and how you can help them or someone they know:)

Happy Netships!
Julia

Dates for your Diary:
BUZZ Drinks - Q3 Casual Catch up on Wednesday 17th September at Red Oak
Create & Manage Networks Training Course - Starts 9th October
 (4 session program that runs over 3 months)

 


 

If you don't ask, you don't get

 

BUZZ QUOTE ~ "Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open". John Barrymore

 

Well, it's Official - Recommendations are your most powerful form of marketing! (and career/business success)

What ever you do, whatever you need to buy, whatever you want to eat/ drink and so on - let's face it, when someone gives you a personal recommendation, you take it! 

In this time poor world, where we are inundated with noise, it's never been more valuable to have a true recommendation from someone you trust in your network.

I don't waste my time with internet searches any more - instead, I just ask someone I know for their advice:). For example, our Client Services Manager was recommended by a professional friend, the restaurant I took a client to was recommended by a personal friend and my removalist next week was recommended by a client. On the flip side, all the work we have coming up for the rest of the year is thanks to someone who has trained with us telling someone else you could benefit and we couldn't be more grateful for such ongoing support.

Getting recommendations is technically called having 'brand advocates'. They can be of you individually or the business you represent and having brand advocates in your network will quite simply ensure it's success!

After all clients/ contacts/ consumers trust Brand Advocates more than marketers. Here is the proof!

  1. 92% of consumers trust “recommendations from people I know.” Only 37% trust search engine ads, and just 24% trust online banner ads. (Source: Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, July 2009)
  2. 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know, and 70% trust opinions of unknown users. (Source: Econsultancy, July 2009)
  3. A Word of Mouth recommendation is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. (Source: McKinsey Quarterly, April 2010)
  4. A whopping 68% of Facebook users say a recommendation from a Facebook Friend would make them more likely to buy a specific product or visit a certain retailer. (Source: Morpace Omnibus Report, Morpace, April 2010)
  5. “Marketers may spend millions of dollars on elaborately conceived advertising campaigns, yet often what really makes up a consumer’s mind is not only simple but also free: a Word of Mouth recommendation from a trusted source.” (Source: McKinsey Quarterly, April 2010)
  6. According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, customers who participate in a referral program will typically refer four customers. The study pointed out that these numbers under-estimate true referral value. Referred customers make their own referrals in turn, and credit for these should be traced back to the original referring customer. (Source: “How Valuable is Word of Mouth?”, V. Kumar, J. Peterson, R. Leone, Harvard Business Review, 2007)
  7. Therefore, a company with 100,000 energized Brand Advocates can reach 60 million people - (100,000 Advocates x 150 people x 4 recommendations per year = 60 million) (Source: Zuberance via Forrester Peer Influence Analysis)

Each time we look at our course evaluations, we see that participants loved working on their positioning statements and understanding how to educate others in what they do. 

Now it's time to educate your networks about how fabulous you are and how you can help them or someone they know:)

Hope to see you at Buzz drinks this Wednesday.

Happy Netships!
Julia

Dates for your Diary:
BUZZ Drinks - (this) Wednesday 25th June 2014
Create & Manage Networks Training Course - starts 18th September
 (4 session program that runs over 3 months)

 

 

It’s NOT nice to meet you

Why learning to network effectively is critical to your success

The room is filled with partners, suppliers, competitors, prospects, and clients, and before you know it you are two metres in the door, someone yanks your name-tag, proceeds to read it out and then ask ‘so what do you do?’....Is it any wonder then that just the word ‘networking’ evokes a host of negative connotations for most people?

I’m Julia Palmer, a network strategist and CEO of the Business Networking Academy and I have dedicated my career to helping people enjoy meeting new people, and furthermore ensure you benefit immensely from doing so. When done properly, strategic (as opposed to accidental or incorrect) networking can be one of the most effective marketing activities you and your business can employ.

There is good news for those who dread attending networking functions, and would rather hide in the corner with someone they know instead of meeting a stranger. I am adamant that there is no such thing as a born networker. Of course there are people who seem to be better at networking than others, however having trained thousands in the art, I believe that it is a learned skill.

(Modern Day) Networking defined

As I have touched on, networking as an activity has a somewhat negative connation in Australia, mostly due to how it has been undertaken. This view is changing as people realise the power that lies in having strategic connections that align with their business and personal goals.

Let’s start to define strategic networking by outlining what it’s NOT:

  • It’s not just having 500+ friends on a social networking site (and not know how to engage with them);
  • It’s not getting as many business cards as you can at a social or business gathering;
  • It’s not about knowing lots of people and wanting to have coffee with all of them; and
    • It’s not simply wining and dining clients or prospects through expensive hospitality.

It IS about:

  • Planning and establishing key connections;
  • Knowing the right people – and knowing them well;
  • Building a set of quality two-way relationships – not simply collecting a large quantity of connections; and
  • Becoming a trusted ally of your connections and becoming a hub – the ‘go to’ person in a network.

Networking is a sensitive balance between knowledge and skill. Most people know they need to develop networks to support them but the skill is having an effective and personalised strategy that aligns to your career goals and the organisational outcomes. 

If you reflect back on the many people you meet and mingle with networking – think about those that left a good impression and those you couldn’t wait to get away from. To ensure you are never seen as the latter, avoid any finger-pointing and tag-grabbing, they are simply rude (so is chasing the drinks tray mid conversation). Smiling too much, speaking too softly and looking away from the group, can make you seem uncertain and indecisive.  Contrary to what many people believe, networking is not about how many cards you’ve collected at the end of the day – too many people still use this as a measure of success!. Rather it’s about creating mutually beneficial relationships (yes, this is more of a long term approach), as the old adage goes , it’s too late to build a relationship when you need it most.

Hope to see you at an event or training program soon

Happy Netships

Julia

 

Julia Palmer is a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, providing training to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visitwww.juliapalmer.com www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au