You are on page 1of 4

Dulye & Co.

featured on
Fox Business

1 2014 Dulye & Co. For more information contact Liz Smithers I I 347.733.1144
Conquering the Workplace, One Cup of Coffee at a Time

Linda Dulye, President/Founder, Dulye & Co. | May 12, 2014 | FOXBusiness

In this super-connected world we live in youd think
networking would be a breeze right? Well, the truth is, there
are not a lot of people who know how to do it really well.
Sure, they may have hundreds of LinkedIn contacts and
social media friends, but thats where it ends.

Nothing is better than a face-to-face conversation. Yes,
they take more time than pressing send, but the connection
you create cant be replicated by any online exchange. Just
ask Eddie Walter, who upon graduating last Spring from
Syracuse University (go Orange--my alma mater too) made it his goal to connect with as many people as
possible at his new employer, JP Morgan Chase.

My initial motivation was that I wanted to quickly learn the company and the business, as well as grow
my career here, Eddie told me in an interview. So I set out to meet as many people as I could by asking
them to join me for a cup of coffee.

He started with a realistic goal: two different people, meet for 30 minutes at a coffee shop where they

The results were immediate.

After a few weeks, Eddie knew more people at his company than any other member on his team most
of whom had been with the company for years. His growing network was invaluable for networking across
departments and getting work donefor him and his colleagues.

To date, he has had more than 200 cups of coffee with employees ranging from associates to executive
directors and even a Vice Chairman.

So whats his secret to being a superstar networker? Heres his strategy:

1. Decide who you want to contact. Eddie went to the companys internal website and studied
faces, names and titles. I prioritized contacts based on my job responsibilities. I also leveraged
the Syracuse alumni network here. I compiled at least 200 names, and from that started making
phone calls to invite people to coffee, starting at the junior level and then moving up the ladder.
When talking to junior level employees, Eddie asked more informal questions about their jobs,
products and services they deliver, and in the end, that information helped him ask more
substantial questions when he met with senior leaders.

2. Use what youve got and have an agenda. Eddie set out to have a master list of all the people
he wanted to meet for coffee. His approach of cold contacting, introducing himself and scheduling
a coffee date, took about five minutes of time and netted more than an 80 percent success rate.
The common ground shared by other SU alumni triggered a yes response every time. So thats a
great group to start with for anyone who tries this approach. Find other alumni from your college.

Dulye & Co. featured on
Fox Business

2 2014 Dulye & Co. For more information contact Liz Smithers I I 347.733.1144
In contacting othersby phone and a follow-up emailEddie explained his goal of quickly
learninglearning about the company, its people, and how they carved their career paths. He
ultimately hoped that by making a good impression with the first candidate group for coffee, they
would be willing to introduce him to one or two more people. He was right. Doors opened to
dozens and dozens of new contacts.

3. Be prepared. Research, research, research. Eddie said he prepares for a coffee date with the
same intensity as working a project. He studies internal and external online directories for
information about each person, gathering information on both professional and personal sides. I
want to know their interests, where they went to school, and if they belonged to a fraternity or
sorority. Armed with these details, Eddie develops a list of five questions that he really wants to
ask, plus some general questions for backup. Its not an interview, he said. Its informal, but it
should be treated like an interview so they can feel it is a valuable use of their time. As a rule,
his 30-minute coffee chats start on time (Eddie arrives at least 5 minutes early) and end on time,
unless his guest offers a few more minutes.

4. Take notes. Dont rely on memory to capture the highlights of a conversation. Eddie brings a pad
and pen, and periodically jots down important facts that hes learned about the person and what
they do. Dont use your smartphone to take notes--the optics look like you are checking
messages and texting. Technology does have a role for storing notes. Transfer them into a
Cloud-based contact directory. Its important to stay organized, he advised.

5. Follow-up and ask for a referral. Immediate follow-up is a must. Eddie, real-time, sends a short
email of appreciation and recaps a few of the conversations highlights. He includes a request for
a recommendation of a colleague who Eddie, in turn, could meet. Referrals are great door
openers, he noted. Theres nothing more valuable than someone saying, I just talked to Eddie,
it would be great if you could meet him and give him some more insights. I would get a near
immediate response.

6. Face-to-face trumps everything. Forget settling for an introductory email it needs to go
farther. You need to have that face-to-face opportunity, otherwise it won't help you get where you
want to go in your career. Regardless of all the technology we have at our fingertips, theres
nothing like that personal connection of sitting across from someone over a coffee. Doors and
opportunities open when people get to know you, Eddie said. And that cant happen through a
few lines of email. People need to look you in the eye and see your smile. That connection
requires no technology.

Eddies value to his team and the company has increased multi-fold. Despite his brief tenure at his firm,
hes grown an extensive professional network and cultivated a shining reputation. People are astonished
at the breadth of knowledge that I've acquired and can leverage, Eddie concluded. You wouldn't suspect
that a few coffees can do that, but I've learned so much during these chats that make me better in my
day-to-day job.

Dulye & Co. featured on
Fox Business

3 2014 Dulye & Co. For more information contact Liz Smithers I I 347.733.1144
Job Shopping? 6 Tips for Building a Strong Network

Linda Dulye, President/Founder, Dulye & Co. | September 23, 2014 | FOXBusiness

In less than five years, the average U.S. worker will get restless and change jobs. So says recent
research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If youre among the go crowd and scouting out new prospects, the difference
between landing the right new job or just settling can be determined by your
professional network.

Building a strong network should be a work-day constant. New opportunities can
arise anywhere and anytime--in a lunch line, on the train home or when placing
your morning latte order. Being able to see and seize the personal connection
that builds a solid network takes skill and some polished techniques.

David Bartell is a pro at connecting with others. As Director of Development at
Syracuse University and a close personal friend, Bartell is a road warrior who
meets hundreds of alumni, business leaders and community representatives
each month to discuss personal and corporate philanthropy. Career success
hinges on cultivating a spark that fuels strong relationships.

With insights from Bartell, here are six tips for pumping up your professional network.

1. Untether yourself. Take off the headphones and put away your phone. Unplug from the zone of
Grateful Dead tunes. Pocket the smartphone. Dont make these devices your safety blankets.
When your head is down and eyes affixed on a small screen, you cant engage anyone. Eyes
initiate connections. Keep your head up, smile and initiate a conversation. You can easily break
the ice with a compliment about someones watch or tablet case.

2. Get real. Be yourself and own who you are. Authenticity resonates with people. Bartell advises,
Be confident with your positive attributes, and dont dwell on negative attributes. That means
you need to have self-awareness of all the positive things that you are. Make a list of your top
five positive traits. Then validate it. Canvas a few friends for their opinion. Youll likely discover an
attribute that others value and youve overlooked.

3. Take time to prepare. Recalls Bartell, One trick I learned is to rehearse in front of a mirror. You
can rehearse your introduction, elevator speech, and questions. You can do all these things
before you walk into a conference room. Go one step further and record yourself so that you can
hear your voice and see your mannerisms. Actual visuals will unlock new awareness of how you
conduct yourself. Consider the entire packageposture, tone, appearance and eye contact.
Finally, practice your handshake. Get calibrated on the message you send with your grip. Does it
convey confidence or insecurity?

4. Quality, not quantity. Dont make networking transactional or task-oriented. Bartell used to keep
tally. I thought the more people I shook hands with, the better I would be. Id wind up with a stack
of business cards, but no story lines about the people behind the name and title. Thats not
successful networking. Less can mean much more when you focus on creating one or two solid

Dulye & Co. featured on
Fox Business

4 2014 Dulye & Co. For more information contact Liz Smithers I I 347.733.1144
connections through meaningful conversations that help you learn about and from the other
person. Dont forget what youve learned. Record conversation highlights immediately after
youve spoken, and create an appropriate follow-up strategy.

5. Most important person in the room: Think of that as a goal when making conversation in a
crowded room. Says Bartell, I have a friend who connects instantly with others. He asks
thoughtful questions and patiently listens to understand their opinions. His goal is to make them
feel like they are the most important person in the room. Enhance that special feeling with follow-
up practices, such as a phone call or handwritten note a few weeks later to underscore how much
you enjoyed the conversation and to recall a discussion point that was raised.

6. Dont lead with your resume. At some point in your career, you should have enough of a reach
that you dont need a resume to initially open doors. Your reputation and network will carve
impressions in others that keep you top of mind when job opportunities arise. Get others talking
about you. Your network should be your marching band, Bartell insists.

Linda Dulye is internationally recognized for helping many companies go spectator free. A former
communications leader for GE and Allied Signal, Linda established Dulye & Co. in 1998 with a practical,
process-driven approach for improving communications and collaboration through an engaged
workforcea formidable competitive advantage, that she calls a Spectator-Free Workplace.