6 Keys to Good Networking

MP900382854Regardless of business endeavor, meeting people and making new acquaintances is an increasingly important job skill.  Good networking forges relationships that are mutually helpful and beneficial whether or not one is involved in market research, market planning, public relations, advertising, sales or any other related activity that involves meeting people and expanding business contacts.

Despite its obvious importance, it is often the least well-implemented tool in a marketer’s kit.  Reasons for that vary, but experts say many people simply find it difficult to meet strangers and “ask for the sale” – whether that be a referral, recommendation, direction – or the actual sale.

Numerous sales training professionals have programs and methods to help people develop better networking skills, and nearly all have some elements in common.  Here are six basic keys to better networking:

Be Precise & Have an Objective

Ask for the result you want.  Don’t leave it to chance that a contact is going to surmise your need – and willingly provide exactly what you need.  Of course you don’t ask for something that’s beyond what someone you’ve just met will provide, but ask yourself: “Why are you networking and what would you like to achieve?”

Keep it simple.  You’re meeting people for the first time, so keep it light but focused.  If you have a typical profile in mind – then seek it.  If there’s a particular company exec you would like to meet – then seek contacts who can facilitate that eventual meeting.

Determine Who Can Help

Who can help you with your objective?  Does the person have the ability to make the connection, or can he or she lead to someone who can?  Are they willing to do so?

A common mistake people make is to exceed the capacity of a new contact’s willingness to help – or “over-ask.”  So don’t.  Instead, get to know the person.  Ask questions about them, their interests, and if they know anyone else at the event.

Align Your “Ask” to Their Capability

If the person can’t directly lead you to your objective, determine what they CAN lead you to.  Remember you’re networking – so network.  A new contact might not be able to help you today – but perhaps they can tomorrow.

You should also be contacting regularly – and a person who might not be able to help you just might be in a position to assist someone you know, or vice-versa.  Networking is a 2-way street, so good networkers look for opportunities to help others.

Ask for What You Need

At this point, you’ve learned a little about them.  Now, find out about their needs.  Offer any suggestions and / or display a willingness to assist them.  Typically, people will respond in kind and ask how they might assist you.

If they don’t, let them know by offering the same kind of information they provided in response to your casual questions about their needs.

Be considerate

In an appropriate way, show appreciation for the effort or help a contact has provided.  This is dependent on your personal style and the level of support provided.  A simple email or phone call will often suffice – but whatever you do, be sincere.

Maintain the Connection

Contacts are valuable – so keep in touch with the people you meet.  Remember – you’re building a network.  Maintain contact through an occasional email, phone call, or get-together for coffee or lunch.  As hard as it often is to network and build contacts – make an effort to keep them.

P2R Associates Awarded Another Hermes Creative PLATINUM Award

Hermes-Statuette-PlatinumP2R Associates today announced it has received a prestigious Platinum Hermes Creative Awards sponsored by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals for its mobile app development work. This latest award brings the total of number of major professional awards P2R has won to 27 for its work since 2007.

P2R’s latest award is in addition to one Automotive Public Relations Council – Excellence in Automotive PR Award, two International Association of Business Communicator Awards, 20 MarCom Awards and three Hermes Creative Awards previously presented to P2R for a range of integrated strategic public relations and marketing communications programs, crisis communication strategies, mobile app development and print and broadcast publicity achievements.

“P2R is a small agency that produces big results and these awards make that point,” said Cole.  “Our trademarked e³ Process™ results in unique programs that deliver success.”

For more information on P2R and our e³ Process™, visit www.p2rassociates.com, email us at info@p2rassociates.com or call us at 1-248-348-2464.

“Our Man in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia”

Ron Peterson, P2R Account Director and published author, has embarked on a trip of a lifetime.  Ron was a Peace Corps. volunteer more than 30 years ago assigned to assist in Peace Corps support efforts in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

This is an official “reunion-type” trip sponsored by the Peace Corps and the Ethiopian government.  Ron left on his journey on September 22 and will be in Addis and other cities through October 8.  He is the author of A Time to . . . A Baby Boomer’s Spiritual Adventures.

P2R will be posting his updates to this blog as we receive them.  Ron’s first two reports follow…

“Our Man in Ethiopia” – Sept. 24

Hi:

I arrived in Addis after a 12. 5 hour flight about 6 hours ago. Was greeted at the airport by the American ambassador to Ethiopia, the Ethiopia  Peace Corps Director and other officials. I had an emotional reunion with my friend Alemu and took a taxi to his home to meet his wife, daughter and grandson. It was a very joyous occasion with lots of conversation and good food and drink.

I’m in an Internet Cafe now with Alemu after he took me to his nearby bank to exchange my American dollars to Ethiopian Birr. We got caught in a heavy rain on our way to a taxi to tour the Piazza area. Unfortunately the taxi, an old toyota minivan held together with wires, didn’t make it far because it began hailing and raining hard. The taxi didn’t have a windshield wiper, seat belts or a defroster which made it hard to see. So we got out of the taxi to come here until the rain stops. We are invited to a free dinner at a restaurant billed as a mini Disneyland due to its extraordinary features. I’ll report on what I see later.

Tomorrow, I’ll tour around Addis in the morning with Alemu before heading to a Peace Corps conference followed by a reception at the American embassy. Alemu will join me for that.

A couple of the annecdotes to date from the flight are:

I sat next to two young Ethiopian women who have been living in Las Vegas for the past 6 years. They are returning home for a 2-month visit with their families. I also met a young Ethiopian who was returning home to bury his 27-year-old sister who died in childbirth due to complications.

Addis is much more developed, with lots of tall buildings all over. I’ll report more after I tour around.

Until next time,

Ron

“Our Man in Ethiopia” – Sept. 25

Hi:

Alemu and I had a great time last night at an Ethiopian restaurant with the 100 Peace Corps Volunteers on this trip.We were interviewed by a two radio stations and two TV networks to tell them our story. I also spoke with an official from the Ethiopian government in charge of development and exchanged business cards with him. He seemed interested in learning more about how P2R can help Ethiopia gets its story out.

This morning we visited the old Emperor’s palace and had an audience with the Ethiopian president with the rest of the PCVs and had our pictures taken with him.

Got to go to a conference now and then on to the American Ambassador’s residence.

Bye for now,

Ron