Being a good networker requires more than a
chatty demeanor. The real tasks of networking can get lost in the
business- card shuffle, says Donna Fisher (www.donnafisher.com), public speaker and co-author of
Power Networking (Bard Press; www.bardpress.com). Her advice:
Give it up. Be as useful to your contacts as
they are to you. Offer to send a magazine article of interest,
perhaps, and follow through.
Explore all six degrees. Remember that a new
contact means access to a new pool of references and resources.
Treat your own contacts as an asset you can provide to others as
Connect, then collect. “Networking is not about
collecting cards,” Fisher notes. Only seek out contact information
for people with whom you plan to stay in touch. Cultivating real
relationships with fewer contacts is far more helpful than coming
home with a stack of cards.
Work the home front. In the quest for contacts,
don’t forget co-workers and even neighbors. Those closest to you
make the most valuable network of all.