Last week, we discussed the need to network but yet it is certainly not everyone’s favorite activity. Vickie Austin, in The Golden Rolodex: How to Network for Results!, promotes the importance— the gold—that resides in your existing database without seeking new people as contacts.
Ms. Austin has created a Networking Toolbox to help you launch a communication campaign.
Your mission—create a mission statement, define your purpose and wanting to make a difference. A mission statement is very different from your business objectives. Missions statements usually contain verbs like “to help, contribute or create”. It is never about the money. Your mission is about service to others.
2) Your Golden Rolodex—the key is to identify everyone, set up a system where you can tap into that reserve of contacts. Her criteria for someone in the Golden Rolodex is most interesting.
a) First of all they must know your name. If you called or left word for, they would recognize your name or the name of the person who referred you to them
b. The most important is that they must be BREATHING!
Communities need to be established. Communities are a collection of people who share or have shared a particular time, place or experience. Possible communities are: work colleagues—past & present; alumni & associations; neighbors, professional/industry associations; sororities; individuals with the same hobbies; friends; family; parents of kids’ friends; house of faith, and one of the most important—personal/professional service providers like hairdressers, barber, attorney, etc.
Now that you have established the communities, integrate the information into ONE place. This might be Outlook, cell phone, PDA, Blackberry, Palm or online programs like Top Producer or ACT! It does not matter what you have as long as you keep it current. The entering of data is an ongoing job for you or your (virtual) assistant.
Until next week with the third installment..