ultimate networking

By: ewhite422

Jul 28 2010

Category: Uncategorized

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When I moved back to my hometown after being gone for 20 years, my high school rival, who always liked my boyfriend, was mayor of the town.  Another rival, who also always liked my boyfriend, was president of the Junior League.  Basically, everyone liked my boyfriend.

I had been out of the country for most of those years, and I had the feeling that I needed to make up for lost time.

I asked a friend of mine, who had never left town and who knew everyone and their dog, if she could make a list of the “movers and shakers” whom I needed to meet, so that I could establish a network as soon as possible.

She handed over 3 pages of names a few days later, and I started calling, “Hi!  I’m a hometown girl who has been gone for 20 years, and I’ve been told by Jane (not her real name) that you are a person I need to know.  Would you be willing to let me come by and meet you, just for 10 minutes?”

They were usually gracious and were flattered that Jane thought they were a person of importance, so they agreed to my stopping by their office, and the interview usually lasted 30 minutes to an hour, as they ended up wanting to know what I had been doing during my 20 years away.

When I got to page 2 of the mover and shaker list, I started getting this reaction to my calls, after I had identified who I was and who recommended I get in touch, “OHHHH!  I was hoping I was on the list!”

By the time I got to page 3, the local newspaper called and wanted to do a story about “hometown girl comes back after 20 years.”

Granted, this was in a relatively small West Texas town, but this can be done in larger venues, too.  Even big cities are “wired” with a group of people who interact with each other.  You just have to find the right person who can give you their names and provide an open door for contacting them.  That’s easier said than done, but it is possible.

Once you make their acquaintance, they want to know what kind of work you do, and sometimes that turns into gaining new customers.

At the very least, you’ve made new friends, and you have a greater sense of what is going on in your community.

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