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Let’s face it: Getting what you want in life requires the salesperson in all of us to come out. One very important aspect of sales is networking. Some of us love it but, really, most of us HATE it! It is hard. Hard to know who you should talk to, hard to know how to act, and hard to know what to say. As career professionals, we often discuss how to network. What does it look like? Or, just as importantly, what does it NOT look like? Networking is a bit counter-intuitive. Most of us go into a networking situation thinking, “What do I need to get out of this?” and then we say exactly that, what WE need to get out of it. Don’t do it! Networking is about establishing and maintaining a relationship with someone before you ask for help. The rules don’t change just because it is not face-to-face. Let me give you an example of a very common mistake we see in our business. Last week, I received a LinkedIn request that simply said “Susan, I am looking for a new career opportunity and would like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” We are always open to meeting people and building our network. Of course, I accepted, although already I was feeling a bit on the defense. Why, what’s the big deal? I have never met this person and I feel like a favor is being requested or is about to be requested of me.

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