That’s the personal note Thom Singer wrote me in the complimentary copy of his book Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships(2d Edition) he sent last week. And good advice it is.
I haven’t had a chance to read his book cover to cover, but I have perused it and realize it is one I want to spend more time with. In the meantime, here is the table of contents to whet your appetite (with a comment or two to explain):
- People do business with people they know (and like, so get to know more people);
- The act of networking: Networking is not an act (be genuine and prepared for a long haul);
- The Blueprint: Architecting your plan (like constructing a house, building relationships requires thoughtful planning in order to land those ideal clients);
- The Nuts and Bolts: Building Relationships (consider it like dating, utilize the golden rule, give first, go where the action is, and follow up);
- Social Networking (consider sites like MySpace, LinkedIn, etc., but not as a substitute for face-to-face networking);
- Your Toolbox: Tricks of the Trade (always remember basic etiquette, mere visibility isn’t credibility, develop your speaking skills, and always show respect);
- Build a Better Mousetrap: Be Creative (think of memorable ways to keep in touch);
- Your Punch List: Reasons to Keep in Touch (not only to build relationships, but to maintain them);
- The Scaffolding Supporting Your Network: Mentors & Peer Groups;
- Perfecting Your Craft: Never Stop Learning (about networking from books, blogs, articles, etc.); and
- The Finishing Touches: Turning Your Network into Real Business (by building a real network, sharing it within your organization, and not burning any bridges).
Networking is REALLY important as a business development tool. I know you know that, but we all need to be reminded occasionally to never stop networking.