This Wednesday my class and I were fortunate enough to have a networking panel come to class for us to learn all the networking secrets straight from four esteemed business leaders.
The four panelists were:
- Heather Zindel– President of Bloom Consulting
- TJ Filley– the Director of Business Development for Fine Solutions
- Nate Perea– C.E.O. of the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Jenny Capella– a Trusted Advisor to Key Influencers
Each panelist had his or her own specific advice; however, there was one common theme- networking is essential! Some of the topics discussed were:
- What is networking?
- Every interaction you have with someone is networking! These relationships should be focused on more of a quality vs. quantity matter. Also, when networking it is vital to make a good first impression. Dressing professionally, being genuine, and having something in common to talk about help make these good impressions. Just keep in mind that networking happens when you least expect it. Networking is much more than showing up at networking functions, shaking a lot of hands and collecting a bunch of cards
- What comes after I meet someone?
- Follow up with them! When you meet the person, ask if calling or emailing is their best outlet. Then make sure you follow up with them and in your follow up be very clear about who you are (sometimes people may not remember you right off) and be honest about if you can help them or not.
- Networking is not a one-way thing!
- Remember that if you help people in return people will help you. Use the pay it forward approach to networking.
- Go into networking with an expectation that you will not get anything out of it!
This networking panel helped me realize that networking is simply relationship building and by doing you learn more about yourself! I absolutely love networking, and I am exciting to put their advice to good use! But that is what this program is all about, putting what you learn to good use!
Until next time!