College Planning Specialists

August 18, 2008

The #1 Mistake In Business Networking Is The Hardsell

“The #1 biggest mistake people make when networking is the Hard Sell” –Dean Guadagni

Today a question came up in Susan Hanshaw’s career and transition workshop presented to the Marin Professionals Association in San Rafael, California. It was one of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind:

“What’s the best way to network?”

Before we examine the best method(s) to network and how to define networking, let’s identify the #1 biggest mistake people make when networking: The Hard Sell

Networking is not:

  1. Selling yourself, your products, or your services
  2. Not purging your 15-30 second elevator pitch
  3. “Working the Room” to gather as many business cards as possible in one session
  4. Soliciting advice from people you yet to know
  5. Begging for introductions to other people
  6. Turning off your ears and listening skills
  7. Monopolizing everyone’s time with your sales pitch
  8. Ignoring the networking organization’s message, niche, and membership
  9. Ignoring your homework to find out who you wish to meet at the meeting you plan to attend
  10. Asking for value before offering value yourself

Stay tuned next week when I define networking and identify the #1 Best Method to Networking.

August 13, 2008

Forget Facebook Impress Your Future Employer And Network With Linkedin Now

Facebook is a fine toy if you are in college-it’s the serious version of myspace. But what is that going to get you when you graduate and you are looking for a job? Answer: connections other college grads who are also looking for a job.

Get Serious With Linkedin

College students will do themselves a huge favor in the fight for employment, if they join and strategically network into the business community.

Advantages of Linkedin

1. Initiative: Introduce yourself to the business community as a soon to be new talent in the job market

2. Job Listings: many fantastic opportunities are posted on Linkedin and nowhere else. This is a powerful job search tool

3. Q&A: this section allow people to ask questions or provide answers. Asking a solid question will bring numerous responses which opens the doors to new connections. Answering a question is the opportunity to show your expertise and knowledge in a way that could impress the right hiring manager or HR director

What does Linkedin really mean to you and your search for employment ? According to Linkedin the following:

1. Control Your Professional Brand- show case skills and talents via your profile and Answer section

2. Network and Reconnect- 24 million members strong, an excuse to call on an old friend or business connection

3. Share Your Knowledge- and Expertise: allows you to show case your talents, gain exposure, or find answers

4. Receive Opportunities- it could be a job offer, consulting assignment, or appearance opportunity

What Makes Linkedin Serious Business?

All the ways to connect and utilize this tool for so many different people and tasks

1. New Users Guide Users manual with powerful strategies
2. Job Seekers Tips for landing a dream job along with ideas on how to market and brand “you”
3. Entrepreneurs: tap into experienced professionals and answer critical questions
4. Attorneys: Manage reputation, demonstrate knowledge and expertise, create client base
5. Business Development: Foster partnerships, look for opportunities, find new channels
6. Consultants: Demonstrate expertise while building your business
7. Journalists: Resources to news and inside information a vast resource for writers
8. Non Profits: Bring awareness of your cause and find the right resources
9. Venture Capital: Opportunities and Ideas come to you with connectivity

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