How to Network
You know it already, networking is important. Connection is the foundation upon which businesses and careers are formed, continue to exist and grow. Hence LinkedIn, Bumble Bizz, Texas Exes, ad infinitum.
One of the most frequent questions we receive when talking about East Seventy Second is how we generate new business. And, right now, it's exclusively through our existing network, which we work hard to grow every single day.
But, that doesn't mean we go to networking events or spend time optimizing our digital networking platforms (like Bizz and LinkedIn). In fact, we do the opposite. And while we recognize those are important platforms, we prefer a less direct, though equally intentional attitude to establishing and nurturing our network.
We've done this because we've experienced that - first and foremost - people want to know what you can do for them. This isn't a critique of society, rather an observation. Regardless, this means that if we go into a networking opportunity looking for what people can do for us in a room already full of people also looking for what others can do for them, what can be achieved is limited.
So, we think of networking as relationship building. In this shift of perspective, we can approach individuals not as stepping stones to our next job, to our next project, to our next career move, to our next goal, but as well-rounded people we can learn from.
To achieve this shift of perspective, we shift our goals around networking. We don't want a job. We don't want a reference. We don't want a connection to a cool company with great benefits. We want to learn to help them achieve their own professional and personal goals - and through doing so, learn from them.
When seeking to do this, however, we follow these very basic rules...
1. Figure out how you can help the person you're speaking with. Then figure out a way you can align your goals with theirs.
2. Remember names. Try creating new contact after you meet someone with their name, position and personal fact. Ask for a business card to help you do this.
3. Spell people's names correctly. Why? This shows attention to detail and respect. Plus, it's easy.
4. CEOs are people. Being intimidated by them (i.e. treating them differently than you would treat their secretaries) just limits what you can accomplish.
5. Write follow-up emails thanking people for their time.
6. Be early. Being on time is being late.
7. Never speak ill of other people or companies. Even if "they really deserve it."
8. Know what your goals are beforehand.
9. Know what questions you want to ask.
10. Dress for the job the person you're meeting with wants. unless they want to be retired, then dress for the job they have.