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Allison Graham can help you turn an introduction into business, a dinner into a relationship, and an average practice

into world class. Ive long preached that were in a relationship business, and this book provides the handshakes, codes, actions, and routes to master those relationships. Alan Weiss, PhD, Author of Million Dollar Consulting and The Consulting Bible

RELATIONSHIPS
Personal Branding & Pr ofitable Networking Made Easy
A L L I S O N G R A H A M

BUSINESS

TO

Contents

Preface Introduction THE FIRST PILLAR OF PROFITABLE NETWORKING: PERSPECTIVE Chapter 1: The Power of Building a Profitable Network Chapter 2: What Does Having a Strong Network Mean to You? Chapter 3: Expectations Chapter 4: What Networking Is Not Chapter 5: Understanding Business Networking Chapter 6: Friendship versus Business Relationships Chapter 7: Education and Connection Summary

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3 7 10 14 18 21 26 28

THE SECOND PILLAR OF PROFITABLE NETWORKING: PERSONAL BRAND Chapter 8: The Business of YOU Chapter 9: Overcoming Age Objections Chapter 10: You Never Know Whos Watching Chapter 11: Your Ideal Personal Brand 33 37 41 44

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Chapter 12: Reality Check Chapter 13: Why It Matters Chapter 14: Personal Hygiene and Grooming Chapter 15: Professional Wardrobe Chapter 16: A Smile Chapter 17: Eye Contact Chapter 18: Authenticity Chapter 19: Approachability Chapter 20: The Tone and Pitch of Your Voice Chapter 21: Sense of Humor Chapter 22: Confidence: Part One Chapter 23: Confidence: Part Two Chapter 24: Confidence: Part Three Chapter 25: Recovering from Embarrassing Situations Chapter 26: Building Your Reputation Summary THE THIRD PILLAR OF PROFITABLE NETWORKING: PROCEDURES Chapter 27: The Fundamentals Chapter 28: Handshakes Chapter 29: Name Tags Chapter 30: Remembering Names Chapter 31: Forgetting Names Chapter 32: Dining Etiquette Chapter 33: Objectives for Attending Events Chapter 34: Calculating the Return on Investment for Events Chapter 35: Networking Effectively with Spouses, Friends, and Work Colleagues

46 49 51 53 57 59 61 63 65 67 69 72 74 80 83 87

91 93 97 99 103 105 110 112 116

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Chapter 36: Before an Event Chapter 37: Understanding Event Flow Chapter 38: Arrival Chapter 39: Mingling Formula Chapter 40: Initiating Dialogue Chapter 41: Small, but Meaningful, Chat Chapter 42: Listening Chapter 43: Creating Mini-Bonds Chapter 44: Exchanging Contact Information Chapter 45: Moving On Chapter 46: Breaking into Group Discussions Chapter 47: Business Cards Chapter 48: Communicating YOU Chapter 49: Developing Your Own 5-10-15-Second Communication Chapter 50: General Business Etiquette Summary THE FOURTH PILLAR OF PROFITABLE NETWORKING: STRATEGIC PLAN Chapter 51: Now What? Chapter 52: The Logical First Step Chapter 53: Electronic Filing System Chapter 54: Categorizing Contacts Chapter 55: Relationship-Development Action Plan Chapter 56: Following Up Chapter 57: Transitioning from Social to Business Chapter 58: Maintaining Relationships Chapter 59: Tapping into Your Network

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181 183 188 190 195 199 206 210 213

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Chapter 60: Staying Visible Chapter 61: Online Networking Chapter 62: Accessing the Traditional Media Chapter 63: Finding Your Focus Chapter 64: Filling Your Calendar Chapter 65: Analyzing the Options Chapter 66: Networking Ruts Summary Epilogue About the Author

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Introduc on

As a professionalyou likely attend, or plan to attend, business functions in an effort to expand your network. Why? Are you truly connecting with people or are you just putting in time? We spend our adult lives interacting with people to earn our living, but shockingly, throughout years of schooling there is no course dedicated to teaching us the specific skills needed to help us connect with others and build our networks. Humans naturally engage in networking on some level, but when the word is formalized as a business activity, for some, it conjures a vision of calculation and manipulation. Proper networking elicits the exact opposite response. Its not a cheesy sales technique, but a genuine attempt to connect with others and to let others connect with you. Sales trainers tell you to build your network to generate business leads. Job-hunting manuals advise you to tap into your network to get your rsum to the top of the pile. Company leaders push their junior associates to get out there and build their networks. It all sounds great in theory, but how do you do this? Where do you go to build your network and once youre there, what do you do so that youre not just collecting business cards? What is the secret to turning those casual business-card contacts into long-term, mutually beneficial relationships? Before I launched my training-and-consulting company, people would ask me for advice on how to get connected and I was happy to oblige. For some, a little advice was all the help they needed and they were off to build their network and achieve success. Others werent so agreeableor successful.

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After showing up once or twice at events, theyd tell me networking doesnt work. They would lose sight of their reasons for wanting a strong network and quit. This result puzzled me. Of course networking worksI was living proof. I knew that networking, when done properly and professionally, is an amazingly powerful tool that will enable a person to achieve whatever can be imagined.

Networking, when done properly and professionally, will help you achieve whatever you can imagine.
So why do so many professionals struggle to make networking work for them while others find success with it? It became my professional mission to find tangible answers and help those struggling to fast-track their success by learning how to connect with the worlds greatest resourcepeople. As I studied people whom I perceived to be master networkers, it was clear most of them didnt consciously realize what they did to network so well. They found success by trial and error and by mirroring the behavior of their mentors. For them, networking just came naturally. Similarly, those who struggle with networking seem completely unaware of what they do to shoot themselves in the foot. Fortunately, some self-awareness and technique-tweaking are all it takes to get results that are better in line with your goals. The information in this book will help you build your profitable and fulfilling network. The ideas presented are a culmination of extensive research into the best practices for networking and, most importantly, they are lessons learned from my personal experience interacting and connecting with thousands of people over the last several years. If you are new to networking, you may find the information overwhelming, so read the book, do the exercises, and then revisit the concepts as you grow your network. Over time these strategies will make more sense. If you have substantial networking experience, read the book with an open mind. Consider your own personal journey and how these concepts apply to you. Stick with whats working and fine-tune areas that need improvement to maximize your efforts. As you read this book, youll realize I am far from perfect. There are days when my foot finds a comfortable resting place in my mouth and I add another experience to my tally of embarrassing momentssome of which I share. Being prepared for the unexpected, accepting yourself for who you are

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at each moment, having a keen sense of humor, and forgiving yourself and others can go a long way toward helping you enjoy the process of building your professional network. I wish you all the best as you work to create a profitable network. It will take time and effort, but it will be well worth the investment. I love to hear stories so please visit my website, www.ElevateBiz.com, to share your tales of successand your blunders too. Also, you can visit the website dedicated to this book by scanning the QR code on the last page for worksheets and additional content.

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