Test networking abilities
Networking, have you ever given it a lot of thought? How big is your network? How does it work? What good is it?
Who does it benefit? How can I do it better? Why is it important to me? I could go on with the questions but I think you get my point.
I recently attended a conference where Harvey Mackay was a keynote speaker. Mr. Mackay is known for his networkbuilding skills and has six New York Times No. 1 Best Sellers: “Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive” and “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty” are two of his titles. I guess you could consider him a master networker. I would like to take this opportunity to share a few of his comments that I feel will help you in the networking arena. A question he addressed: Do you have a contact management system (CMS)? Create a CMS and manage it. Make notes on the back of business cards you receive about the person and business and make calls and stay in contact. Being forgotten is not making you any money. Your CMS is your road map to success.
For sake of time and space, I want to provide you a few questions from Mr. Mackey’s Self-Test to see how you feel your networking skills are.
Rate yourself 1-5 scale with 1 being not true and 5 being very true: 1. I have a large network of people I can call upon when I need help, information or a resource.
2. When I met someone new, I record and file information about that person within 24 hours.
3. IaddsomeonenewtomyCMSatleast every week.
4. I follow up with new contacts right away, writing a note, email, phone call or forwarding a pertinent article.
5. I keep track of special things that matter to my contacts like their family, hobbies and achievements. 6. I can easily find out when I was last in contact with someone.
7. When I mail or email something such as a resume, sales letter, change of address, I can count on having the correct spelling, titles and addresses for everyone in my network.
8. I know about and acknowledge special dates like birthdays, anniversaries and graduations.
9. When I want to give a business gift, I can count on my CMS to provide me with an excellent idea of what the person might like. 10. I make it easy for others to add me to their network by providing my business card, notifying them of address changes and informing them about my progress. 11. When friends ask me for the name of a good resource, I have no trouble providing one. 12. When the moment comes, I can really wow a customer, prospect or potential employer with special information or an idea that shows I care.
Total your points: 0-24 – You are in rough shape. It is time to make a change.
25-36 – You are doing some things right. Now get to work.
37-44 – You are off to a great start. Build on what you have done so far.
45-55 – You have got some superstar potential. All you need is the polish.
56-60 - You are there. Keep up the great work.
I hope this has been helpful. Harvey Mackay has made a major impact on the way I network but after taking the test again, I see I need to get back to work.
Rick Jackson, Conquistadores Chair Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce